Liverpool's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah. AFP
Liverpool’s Egyptian star winger Mohamed Salah wants to play in the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, according to Egypt’s U23 team coach Shawky Gharib, but the Premier League club is yet to decide on the player’s availability.
“We got Salah’s approval for playing at the Olympics before sending the request to Liverpool,” Gharib told ON Sport radio station on Wednesday.
Late in April, the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) submitted a second request to Liverpool to include Salah among the three over-age players in the squad participating in the Olympics that will last from 23 July to 8 August.
“We are still in discussions with the Premier League club regarding the tournament’s timing. Sure, having the experienced players will add more strength to the tournament, but the club may reject the request due to their commitments at the same time of the Olympics,” the coach explained.
“I will choose three over-age players, as we have big ambitions in this tournament. We will be facing strong opponents, so calling the senior players will add more value to our team,” Gharib concluded.
Egypt's U23 team kicked off their preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo by starting a two-week training camp on Tuesday. The team’s final 22-man squad will be announced on 30 June.
The Pharaohs will face South Africa in two friendly games on 10 and 13 June as part of their preparations for the Tokyo Games.
Egypt were drawn in a tough group at the Olympic Games, along with heavyweights Spain, Argentina, and Australia.
The 2012 quarter-finalists open their campaign against Spain on 22 July before facing Argentina three days later and Australia on 28 July.
The 28-year-old Salah was recently voted as Liverpool's best player of the 2020/21 season in a fan vote after enjoying another remarkable campaign in which he came agonisingly close to scooping the Premier League's top scorer award.
Salah, who scored 22 goals in the elite competition, played an instrumental role in helping Liverpool earn a Champions League spot after the Reds finished third in the Premier League.
He scored 31 goals in 51 appearances in all competitions, moving to 12th place in Liverpool's list of all-time top scorers.
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