Mohamed Salah’s form at Liverpool means he would justify a £200 million price tag, says Ian Rush, with Real Madrid already sniffing around.
The Reds invested a then club-record fee of £36.9m in the Egyptian forward when acquiring him from Roma in the summer of 2017.
He was considered to be better prepared for life in the Premier League at 25 years of age than he was during a previous stint at Chelsea, but a 23-goal haul has come as a welcome surprise.
So impressive has Salah been that he is now being talked up for another big-money switch in the near future, but Liverpool legend Rush hopes those mulling over an approach for a man blessed with Lionel Messi-esque quality will not pay the going rate.
The Reds’ record goalscorer told beIN Sports: “There are two players who made first impressions when they first came – there was Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez.
“Salah has done exactly the same as that. What we have to be careful of now is nobody comes in and bids £200 million for him! That’s how good he is.
“I’ve seen this lad play, and apart from being a gentleman and down to earth, this lad can play.
“He is quick, and when he gets in behind defenders… if you weren’t looking properly, you’d say it could be Lionel Messi. He gets the ball down, nips in and it’s in with his left foot. That’s how good he is for me.”
While Liverpool should be able to keep Salah out of the clutches of a La Liga giant for now, they are bracing themselves for the departure of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.
No deal has been completed as yet, but the Brazilian appears destined to be heading for Camp Nou in a transfer package worth over €150m.
Rush does not begrudge the 25-year-old playmaker a dream move, but he would rather see an agreement pushed through in the summer rather than in the midst of a top-four challenge.
The former Wales international added: “I’m pretty sure that if it wasn’t Real Madrid or Barcelona, Coutinho wouldn’t go anywhere.
“I’d love to see him stay until the end of the season. If we are going to get to the final of the Champions League or win the Champions League, we are going to need Philippe Coutinho.
“He’s a master in everything. But the money is big. We didn’t pay a lot for him and we’ve been offered a lot for him. I’d like to see him stay. I’m pretty certain that unless we have a replacement (lined up), he won’t go.
“If you’re going to get rid of Philippe Coutinho and give him what he deserves – in fairness, since he’s been there he’s been fantastic for Liverpool – give him his reward but, for me, I’d like to see at the end of the season.”
Coutinho has netted 12 times for Liverpool this season across Premier League and Champions League competition, while providing a further eight assists.