Football Digest: Liverpool start the season strong
Al-Ettifaq have seemingly mocked Mohamed Salah on social media after the Egyptian forward ended up staying at Liverpool despite being targeted for a move to Saudi Arabia. Salah was heavily pursued by Al-Ittihad, who submitted at least one huge bid for his signature, but did not make the switch in time before the Saudi transfer window closed on Thursday.
The situation prompted Al-Ettifaq, who are managed by Steven Gerrard, to poke fun at Salah while announcing the signing of winger Demarai Gray from Everton. In the announcement video posted on X, formerly Twitter, several Premier League teams and players are featured in a retro arcade-themed post alongside the caption: “Game over.”
At one point, the video focuses on Liverpool’s squad and cuts to a shot of Salah before two messages of ‘NO!’ flash up on the screen alongside an image of Jurgen Klopp looking angry. It then moves to Everton’s squad and Gray’s icon before transfer expert Fabrizio Romano appears with the message: “Demarai Gray to Al-Ettifaq, here we go.”
Liverpool turned down a £150million bid for Salah on the final day of the English transfer window, with the Reds insistent that he was not for sale. However, plenty of interest remains in the winger from Saudi Arabia and there are good relations between all parties, according to The Athletic.
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The Reds could be tempted to cash in on Salah at the turn of the year, when the 31-year-old will only have 18 months left on his contract. However, they might decide to resist any approaches until the end of the season, with Salah likely to play a crucial role in their bid to return to the Premier League’s top four.
It remains to be seen whether the 31-year-old would be keen on moving to Al-Ittihad, though, after suggesting back in 2021 that he could see himself staying at Liverpool for the rest of his career.
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“If you ask me, I would love to stay until the last day of my football career, but I can’t say much about that,” he told Sky Sports. “It’s not in my hands. It depends on what the club want, not on me.”
He went on to explain that he could not see himself ever playing against Liverpool, which would rule out a move to another Premier League or European club. However, Al-Ittihad are unlikely to cross paths with the Reds in future unless they meet in a friendly or at the Club World Cup.
“At the moment I can’t see myself ever playing against Liverpool,” he added. “That would make me sad. It’s hard, I don’t want to talk about it, but it would make me really sad. At the moment I don’t see myself playing against Liverpool, but let’s see what will happen in the future.”
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