Mohamed Salah was the subject of a mammoth bid from Saudi Arabia, which was turned down by Liverpool, with the player reportedly open to making the move to the Middle East
Mohamed Salah “was ready to go” to Saudi Arabia and it was Liverpool who stepped in to stop the move, according to Michail Antonio.
The Egyptian was the subject of a £150m bid from Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Ittihad, only to see that sum turned down by the Reds late in the summer transfer window. Salah remains a vital player at Anfield with Jurgen Klopp looking to freshen up his squad after a below par year.
The loss of Salah would’ve been a major blow, especially as the player only signed a new deal last year. The wealthy outfits in the Middle East are determined to eventually land the player’s signature given he is seen as the most famous Arab star on the planet.
Antonio claims Salah was more than ready to make the move, where the likes of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have already gone, but it was Liverpool who made it clear that their premier marksman would not be sold, despite talk of a follow up world-record bid.
He said on the Footballer’s Football Podcast , said: “He didn’t turn that down, no way. He was locked up and the Reds had put that red arrow across: ‘You are not going anywhere’. He did not stop that at all. To be fair to him, he didn’t kick up a fuss and let them do what they were doing. But I know for a fact that he was ready to go.”
In the days immediately after the window closing, Klopp made it clear that he was always confident Salah was going to stay put. “I’ve never had, and I don’t have now, doubts about his future, his commitment to this club,” said the German. “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.”
The Liverpool boss was recently quizzed once again on Salah’s future, which he took exception to. The Saudi League could well return in the New Year with a fresh offer as they look to test the club’s resolve, but Klopp maintained he was “not worried” about his exit.
A host of Premier League stars made the decision to head for the Middle East as the country’s authorities pour huge sums into improving their domestic league. They’ve attracted the likes of Edouard Mendy, Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte whilst Neymar also made the move from PSG.
DAZN subscribers will be able to watch three matches per week from the ever growing Saudi Pro League, featuring some the biggest names in world football. DAZN will also be showing every minute of Al-Nassr’s games which will bring fans front row seats to Cristiano Ronaldo and former Liverpool legend, Sadio Mané.
£9.99 a month or get a flexible pass for £19.99
The Brazilian’s switch from Barcelona in 2017, for £198m, remains the most expensive transfer in history. The Saudis could shatter that fee with the capture of Salah having already seen a world-record bid for Kylian Mbappe turned down earlier this year.
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