Egypt under-23 and Olympic Games national head coach Shawky Gharib claims Mohamed Salah ‘had a strong desire’ to represent his country this summer before being blocked by Liverpool.
The Egyptian FA hoped to name 29-year-old Salah as one of three permitted overage players in their Tokyo Olympics squad but with the competition not under FIFA jurisdiction, L iverpool were able to stand firm against the call-up.
The decision was branded selfish by West Ham United first-team coach Stuart Pearce but Gharib conceded Liverpool had the ‘right’ to retain their star forward.
He told MBC Masr via KingFUT : “All negotiations with Liverpool and Galatasaray have not been successful, as the two clubs want the two players with them in the coming period.
“The Turkish club signed Mostafa Mohamed in order to participate in European competitions, so it’s their right to keep him. The same goes for Liverpool.
“Mohamed Salah had a strong desire to be with the Olympic team in Tokyo and also Mostafa Mohamed, but what happened was out of their control.”
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The Egyptian has previously represented his country at the Olympics, scoring three goals as they reached the quarter-finals in London 2012.
Liverpool are already resigned to losing Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita to the Africa Cup of Nations in January of next year.
Salah has scored 45 goals in 70 caps for Egypt.