Mohamed Salah could miss the start of the next Premier League season with a potential call-up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The coach of Egypt’s U23s has made it clear he intends to include Salah as one of the team’s three overage players.
Speaking to ON Sport TV, Shawky Gharib confirmed he is due to hold talks with Salah, although the Liverpool forward will ultimately have the final say over his potential participation in Japan.
“We have to send a preliminary list of 50 players. Salah will be the first on the list as an official call-up,” Gharib said.
The tournament begins on July 22, with the final taking place on Saturday, August 8 – the same weekend in which the current Premier League season began in 2019.
If Salah chooses to join the national squad, he will undoubtedly miss Liverpool’s entire pre-season schedule and would likely need some period of rest before linking up with his club team-mates.
Salah’s summer break last year was limited as he took part in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), where Egypt were knocked out at the round of 16.
Salah could miss even more football for Liverpool next season after hosts Cameroon announced the AFCON will be moved from the summer to January 2021.
The tournament was due to be held in June and July but, due to weather conditions in the country at that time of year, the Cameroon Football Federation has decided to stage it between January 9 and February 6.