Transfer news: Raheem Sterling linked with loan move to Swansea if Liverpool complete swoop for Mohamed Salah

Sterling was linked with Swansea, although their chairman says the arrival of Thomas Ince is more likely

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The Independent Football

Liverpool are edging closer to concluding a deal for FC Basel's Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah after seemingly false rumours spread that Reheem Stirling would be loaned out to Swansea City should the deal go through.

Hew Jenkins, the Swans chairman, has since refuted those reports, stating a permanent move for Blackpool’s Thomas Ince would be a more realistic assumption, but talk of Salah’s switch to Anfield continues to permeate on the gossip columns.

The Reds are said to have held initial discussions with the Swiss champions and speculation was rife in the 21-year-old’s homeland that Salah would arrive on Merseyside late this week to complete a medical and sign a five-year deal.

It would appear that those rumours were slightly premature, however, while the muted £7m transfer fee may need to be improved upon should Brendan Rodgers be successful in strengthening his small first-team squad.

The five-time European champions have been in resurgent form this season and, despite a slump towards the end of December, are sat in the European places going into the final phase of the campaign.

Strikes against Chelsea and Tottenham in the Europa League last season highlighted his talents to the continent’s elite and Liverpool’s increasingly more realistic ambitions to compete in the Champions League could prove too tempting to turn down.

Sterling, on the other hand, has been impressive down the flanks this season but Rodgers would prefer to utilise the loan system rather than risk damaging the 19-year-old’s morale by extraditing him to the bench.

If Rodgers’ former club do indeed look elsewhere, a number of their Premier League rivals will surely be alerted to his availability but any such move will hinge on the result of the Salah deal.