Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane may have unwittingly strengthened speculations linking his club with Mohammed Sallah after he admitted that he rates the Liverpool player highly.
Salah has made a flying start to life at Anfield this season, repaying the club-record fee, an initial €42million that could rise to €50m, Liverpool parted with to recruit him from Roma by netting 19 goals in 25 matches.
Madrid did not reinforce their attack in the close-season and have struggled to achieve their usual potency, with Gareth Bale battling injury and Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema lacking form.
Reports this week have credited Los Blancos with an interest in Salah as the January transfer window approaches.
And, asked by an Egyptian journalist at the Club World Cup about the 25-year-old, Zidane said: “Salah is great player, [he has] shown that at Roma, now Liverpool.
“He is still young, improving all the time. I don’t talk much about other players, but he is a player I rate a lot.”