Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad seem to have acknowledged defeat in completing the transfer of Mohamed Salah from Liverpool. The Saudi side were desperate to rope in Salah this summer, even though Liverpool was adamant that the winger was not for sale. As the Reds remain firm on not selling Salah, Al Ittihad are now pulling out of the potential transfer at least till the transfer window reopens in January next year. According to a report by The Telegraph, Al Ittihad believe it has been too late to complete the move, with the Saudi transfer window set to close today.
With big names like Neymar, Karim Benzema and Sadio Mane having shifted their base to Saudi Arabia this summer, Al Ittihad were eager to land a world-class player. Their interest in Salah was first known when the Saudi outfit made their initial bid worth £150 million.
After Liverpool turned down the offer, Al Ittihad returned with a bigger offer which would have made the Egyptian international one of the highest-paid footballers in the world. If Salah would accept the deal, it would see him surpass Neymar’s £200m move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in 2017. It could also become the most expensive Premier League transaction, surpassing Philippe Coutinho’s move from Liverpool to Barcelona in 2018 at £130 million.
Al Ittihad were ready to pay a staggering sum of £215m comprising various unspecified add-ons to complete the signing of Mohamed Salah. A Daily Mail report even claimed that a Saudi delegation travelled to London last week to meet Salah in a bid to push him for the deal.
With all their efforts now seemingly going in vain, Al Ittihad have now finally turned their back on Salah. But they can revisit England with a more attractive deal when the next transfer window opens in January.
A number of Liverpool players, including Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, have joined the Saudi Pro League this summer. Salah could follow the lead of his former teammates but the majority of the Anfield hierarchy, including boss Jurgen Klopp, have been against his release.
After Liverpool claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory against Aston Villa last week, Klopp addressed the reports about Salah’s Al Ittihad interest. “I’ve never had, and I don’t have now, doubts about his future, his commitment to this club. Believe me, you can’t imagine how much fuss the whole world makes and how calm we are with it. He’s our player, he wants to play here and that’s it,” Klopp was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
After joining Liverpool in 2017, Salah has already established himself as an asset for the club. The 31-year-old winger has so far represented the Premier League outfit in 309 games across all competitions, scoring 188 goals. Salah also played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s Champions League triumph in 2019.