Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric and former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo, who moved to Juventus after winning the Champions League with the Spanish side, are the other players on the three-man shortlist – voted for by coaches and journalists across Europe.
Salah – who was named PFA Player of the Year after his successful debut campaign at Anfield – scored 44 goals for Liverpool last season, while Ronaldo scored 27 La Liga goals to add to his 15 in the Champions League.
The Portugal forward is the current holder of the award having won it three times in the past four seasons.
Modric was a 2018 World Cup runner-up with Croatia and also the winner of the FIFA Golden Ball.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard were both included in the top 10, alongside Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos.
France World Cup winners Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Raphael Varane complete the longlist.
The women’s award will go to either Pernille Harder (Denmark and Wolfsburg), Ada Hegerberg (Norway and Lyon) or Amandine Henry (France and Lyon).
The accolades will be presented at the Champions League group stage draw ceremony, which will take place in Morocco on August 30.