Liverpool reject Al Ittihad’s $189m bid for Mohamed Salah
The Saudi Pro League club are pressing for a deal for Egyptian forward Salah, but Liverpool insist he is not for sale.
Mohamed Salah has been one of the greatest Liverpool players in recent history [File: Paul Ellis/AFP]Published On 1 Sep 20231 Sep 2023
Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad are continuing to push to sign Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah, but their latest huge offer has been rejected by the English Premier League club, according to media reports.
The Saudi Pro League club were told by Liverpool that Salah – one of the world’s most iconic footballers – was not for sale, despite receiving a bid of an initial 100 million pounds ($126m) and 50 million pounds ($63m) in add-ons, bringing the total bid to 150 million pounds ($189m).
Al Ittihad are desperate to sign Salah, who has been Liverpool’s top scorer for the last six seasons, to their team, and have repeatedly come back to the Merseyside club with bids, each one more eye-watering than the last.
The offer from Al Ittihad, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading clubs and a beneficiary of a takeover from the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) earlier this summer, came in a phone call on Thursday night to the president of the Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s owners, the Guardian reported.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said on Friday that he did not know about any bids for Salah.
Salah has reportedly agreed terms with Al Ittihad, the channel beIN Sports said last week.
But Liverpool are adamant that they will not be tempted to cash in on the 31-year-old Salah, who has two years left on a contract worth 350,000 pounds a week ($440,563).
Salah himself has made no public statements about the bid, and Liverpool have been keen to share pictures of him looking happy while training this week.
While the English transfer window is set to close at 22:00 GMT on Friday, meaning that Liverpool will not be able to register any new incoming transfers from other clubs, the Saudi Arabian transfer window will remain open until September 7, giving Al Ittihad the opportunity to come in once again for Salah.
Saudi clubs have made huge waves in the transfer market this summer, signing some of the world’s best players, including Karim Benzema, Neymar and N’Golo Kante.
Salah, as the Arab world’s best player, would be a giant coup for Saudi football, which has been revolutionised by investment from the PIF, which now owns four clubs, including Al Ittihad.
Klopp, who has already lost two Liverpool players to Saudi clubs this summer, acknowledged the threat posed by the Saudi Pro League – and the huge contracts on offer – on Friday.
“We are still a bit surprised by the activity from Saudi Arabia,” Klopp said. “I don’t know where it will lead to but it feels rather like a threat or a concern than not. I don’t see how we can really deny it. The difference in contracts [being offered] is so big it will cause conflict 100 percent.”