Mohamed Salah has been warned off leaving Liverpool by former Egypt coach Hassan Shehata, with any switch to Real Madrid set to leave him in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Champions League holders continue to be heavily linked with a man who has netted 38 times across all competitions this season – a tally which leaves him just two adrift of a talismanic presence at Santiago Bernabeu.
Real are said to consider Salah to be of the ‘Galactico’ mould and are weighing up the merits of a big-money move for a man who only arrived at Anfield in a £36.9 million deal over the summer of 2017.
Shehata appreciates why the 25-year-old has become a man in demand, but has used Brazilian superstar Neymar as an example of how operating alongside a multiple Ballon d’Or winner can actually do more harm than good.
He told ON Sport of Salah, who is tied to a contract at Liverpool until 2022: “It is honour to us when we talk about Mohamed Salah.
"He did great job this year with Liverpool. He can either leave for Barcelona or Real Madrid, or he can stay with Liverpool.
"It is up to him, but I think he should play for the team who will always let him play.
"Salah is the biggest star with Liverpool, but with Real Madrid he will under the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo.
"That's what made Neymar leave Barcelona, because he wanted to be out of Lionel Messi's shadow.
"Salah should think very well before he leaves Liverpool and get advice from trustworthy professional people, then he will take the best decision for himself.”
For now, Salah is focused on the present and recovering from an untimely knock.
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Having been forced off during a Champions League quarter-final first leg clash with Manchester City, the Egyptian forward played no part in Liverpool’s 0-0 Merseyside derby draw with Everton.
He may, however, come back into contention for a return date with City on Tuesday, as Jurgen Klopp’s side endeavour to build on a 3-0 advantage and book their place in the last four of Europe’s elite club competition.