Al-Ittihad were unsuccessful in a bid for Mohamed Salah ahead of the Premier League transfer window closing, but the Saudi Pro League are expected to return for the Liverpool ace
Jurgen Klopp cracked up laughing at the mere idea of leaving Mohamed Salah out of his Liverpool team.
Salah started for the Reds against Aston Villa at Anfield, despite intense speculation regarding his future. Liverpool turned down a deadline day bid from Al-Ittihad for Salah, with the expectation they will return before their own transfer window closes.
Mirror Football understands that Klopp accepts his talisman will eventually leave the club for Saudi Arabia, but is confident that any offer this summer will be snubbed. That means it’s business as usual for both Liverpool and Salah, as they look to continue a positive start to the new season.
After beating Newcastle in dramatic fashion last time out, Klopp’s side welcomed Villa to Merseyside, who themselves have impressed in recent outings. And Salah was named in the starting XI to take on Unai Emery’s charges, with Klopp insistent there was never a chance of leaving him out.
Asked if he had to think about selecting him or not, the Kop boss openly laughed, before saying: “I didn’t have to! It’s a media story and it never came through. I have a big desk in my office, a lot of papers, laptop, iPad and none of them are busy with this kind of news.
“I have a lot of other things to do and we didn’t even think about it. Mo has had a completely normal, good training week. There was nothing from my point of view to think about.”
Al-Ittihad are understood to have lodged a £150 million offer for Salah, one which was swiftly rejected by Anfield bosses. It has been suggested that the Saudi club will try again in the coming days, with astronomical figures mooted.
BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Don Hutchison was confident Liverpool are in a strong position, but said a new offer must at least be considered. “It has to be a conversation,” he explained. “If you are Liverpool you are in a great position. Liverpool can turn around and say no to £150m knowing that the Saudi Pro League offered PSG £250m for Mbappe.
“Liverpool can say no to £200m and an hour before the deadline they can come in with £250m. The money is astronomical.It’s a really hard one because of course Liverpool don’t want him to go but if figures like £200m and £250m are on the table, it has to be a conversation worth having.”
Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler – currently managing in the country – has also told his old club to be braced for a new bid. “Do I think there will be another mind-blowing bid for Mo Salah? Is the Pope a Liverpool fan?” Fowler wrote in his Mirror Sport column.
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“Regarding the biggest question in football at the moment – let’s call it the Salah saga – well, watching the situation unfold over here in Saudi Arabia, it is PAINFULLY obvious that Al-Ittihad are not going to give up just yet.
“There’s still a week left in the Saudi transfer window, and I can tell you Salah WILL be ending up here. Maybe not in this window, but some time soon, because of who he is, and just how many people here want it to happen so desperately.”
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