Mohamed Salah is the African equivalent of Lionel Messi, according to Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, although the German claimed the Champions League holders were not preparing to swoop for the Egyptian star.
Salah, 28, has netted 115 goals in 184 appearances for Liverpool since making the switch to Anfield from Roma back in 2017 for a price tag of around £35 million ($48 million).
The Egyptian’s goals have helped fire Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2019 and a first Premier League title in 30 years last season.
His emergence as one of the game’s top forward has seen Salah consistently linked with a move away from the Reds, with rumors earlier this season again talking up a switch to Barcelona or Real Madrid.
One fervent admirer of the Egyptian is Rummenigge, the CEO at German giants and reigning Champions League winners Bayern.
The 65-year-old former West Germany international claimed that Salah’s achievements could even match those of perennial Ballon d’Or winners Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“In my opinion, Salah is the Messi of Africa and of course he has the skills to play for the best teams in the world,” Rummenigge said, Goal reported.
“What he [Salah] has achieved can be compared to what Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo did with Barcelona and Real Madrid.”
The Bayern boss admitted, however, that his compliments were not intended as paving the way for a move for ‘The Egyptian King’.
“At the moment we don’t plan on signing Salah, but certainly it would be an honor to have him,” he added.
The comparisons with six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi might be seen by some as flattering Salah somewhat.
The 33-year-old Argentine recently passed the 650-goal mark for Barcelona, while Salah is approaching 200 in his career in club colors.
Aside from individual awards, Messi has also racked up many more team accolades, winning 10 La Liga titles to Salah’s one Premier League crown, and leading 4-1 in terms of Champions League titles.
Internationally, Salah does have a more impressive goal-per-game rate with Egypt, and according to Transfermarkt has netted 41 times in 67 games, while Messi has 71 in 142 for Argentina.
This season Salah has a more than respectable 21 goals in 32 games across all competitions for Liverpool, although Jurgen Klopp’s team have struggled in their efforts to retain their Premier League title.
A comprehensive 4-1 defeat to title rivals Manchester City at the weekend – in which Salah bagged a penalty – consigned them to a third home defeat in a row in the league. That is the first time that has happened since 1963.
Klopp has pointed to mental and physical fatigue as being behind his team’s woes, as they have also contended with long-term injuries to key defensive personnel Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
Klopp has all-but written off his team’s chances to retain their title as they now lie fourth in the table, 10 points behind Man City who also have a game in hand.
Next up is a trip to third-placed Leicester on Saturday in what will be another crunch game for the Reds if they want to turn their season around.
Beyond that is the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash with RB Leipzig next Tuesday, which has been switched from Germany to Budapest due to the pandemic.
Earlier this season, Salah was accused of flirting with a move to Spain amid claims that he was “unhappy” at Liverpool.
The star himself had said “no one knows the future and what will happen, let’s see what will happen,” when asked about his future by a South American radio station.
Since then, Klopp has moved to allay doubts over Salah’s happiness.
The Egyptian star remains under contract at Liverpool until 2023 on a deal worth a reported £200,000 a week.
Bayern Munich, meanwhile, are currently bidding to win the FIFA World Club Cup title that Liverpool scooped last year.
The Germans face Mexican side Tigres in the final at the Education City Stadium in Qatar on Thursday night.