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Champions League Final - Football: Will Salah news boost Liverpool?

Liverpool have received a major boost ahead of Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid, with Mohamed Salah confirming he will stay at the club.

The Egyptian superstar's future has been a major talking point over the last 12 months and while he hasn't signed an extension to his current contract, which expires next year, he will at least see out his current terms.

With the countdown on before Saturday's final in Paris, the news is sure to lift 4/7 Liverpool as they target a seventh European Cup at the Stade de France.

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Another sensational season

After struggling during his short-lived spell at Chelsea, Salah had something to prove when he signed for Liverpool in 2017. However, any doubts have been dispelled with the 29-year-old his side's standout attacking player during his time at Anfield.

The former Roma man has won the Premier League's Golden Boot, either outright or shared, three times, including in 2021/22, where he tied for the prize alongside Tottenham's Son Heung-min.

Both men netted 23 times, a tally that ranks second in Salah's season hauls, the best of which came in 2017/18 when he scored 32 times.

His performances this term helped Liverpool to second in the Premier League standings, while he also contributed to their successful League Cup and FA Cup campaigns.

Another chance for silverware beckons on Saturday when the Reds cross The Channel to face the Spanish champions, who themselves are 11/8 to claim a record-extending 14th European crown.

The pair have twice previously met in the final of Europe's elite club competition, with both having one win each. Alan Kennedy scored the only goal as Liverpool triumphed 1-0 in Paris at the Parc des Princes in 1981 but Real got the job done in 2018, prevailing 3-1 in Kiev.

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Revenge mission

Salah lasted only half an hour of that game, a rugged challenge by Los Blancos' captain Sergio Ramos rendering him unable to continue, with Adam Lallana taking his place.

There's no question the FWA Footballer of the Year has underperformed during the spring, scoring just three times in all competitions since his missed penalty contributed to Egypt failing to reach the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

Fatigue may be a factor but if he is to pull a performance out of the bag, then Saturday is the time to do it. Salah, 5/1 to be man of the match, is sure to be fired up following what happened in Kiev and his assertion that he will stay next season will also act as a positive for his colleagues.

Having already wrapped up the League Cup and FA Cup, Liverpool are 1/1 to again demonstrate their knack for getting the job done in finals by winning the Champions League final in 90 minutes.

That was the case at Madrid's Metropolitano in 2019 when they beat Tottenham 2-0. Salah netted the opener in that game and is 11/10 in the anytime market, having scored eight times in this season's competition.

Should Liverpool win in Paris, Salah's chances of winning the Ballon d'Or will surely be reduced from 10/1. However, he will still face competition from Real's Karim Benzema, who has scored 15 times in this season's competition and is the huge 1/7 favourite for the prize.

Mane mystery

While Salah had good news for Liverpool fans, teammate Sadio Mane remained coy on his own plans. The Senegalese, who scored his side's goal in that Kiev defeat, is also out of contract in 2023 and has been heavily linked with Bayern Munich.

Speaking on Wednesday, he said he would decide his future after Saturday's game, with Real another team that could be interested in him.

A school of thought suggests Liverpool had planned to sell one of their fabled frontline to avoid losing both stars on free transfers next summer and Salah's announcement means Mane may be heading for the exit.

However, while his colleague has struggled at times in 2022, the former Southampton man has excelled. He was crucial in Senegal's Africa Cup of Nations success and their qualification for Qatar, both of which came at the expense of Egypt and has only kicked on.

Mane is 7/4 in the anytime market and is sure to play his part after proving his importance to Jurgen Klopp's side with nine goals in his last 13 Reds outings.

There is a perception that Mane has lived in the shadow of Salah, with his exploits not always appreciated. With his colleague set to stay, he may use that as extra motivation, if he needed it, as fuel to perform and is 11/1 to be named man of the match.

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