Football Digest: Liverpool start the season strong
Arsenal icon Ian Wright has called out Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad for being “disrespectful” to Mohamed Salah in their transfer approach to Liverpool. The Middle Eastern nation are continuing attempts to land the 31-year-old to cap off their remarkable spending spree this summer, but only have a few hours left to complete a deal.
The Saudi Pro League’s transfer window closes on Thursday, September 7 at 10pm, meaning that there are only hours remaining for Al-Ittihad to convince Liverpool to part ways with Jurgen Klopp’s key forward. The Reds have repeatedly insisted that Salah is not for sale, but that has not stopped the Saudi attempts.
Al-Ittihad, who also have also signed Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Fabinho and Jota this summer, were turned down in their reported £150million offer for Salah and were said to be considering a follow-up of £200m. It would represent the second-biggest sale in football history after Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
But Wright believes that the Saudi offer landing so late in the summer is “disrespectful” to Salah and accused Al-Ittihad of attempting to unsettle the Egyptian. “I don’t if that’s the Saudi guys flexing,” Wright told Premier League Productions. “To come in that late, for a player of that calibre, you aren’t going to let him go. It’s almost disrespectful to him – now, it has just unsettled him.”
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It is increasingly unlikely that Salah will not depart Anfield before January, as Liverpool are unable to replace him and especially after Klopp’s reiteration that he will stay and Dominik Szoboszlai lifting the lid on a telling conversation, the German boss will feel confident of keeping Salah at the club.
After Salah scored his first goal of the season in Liverpool’s win over Aston Villa, Klopp said: “I never had any doubt about his commitment to this club. You can’t imagine how much fuss the world has made but how calm we are with it.
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“He is our player and wants to play here. He didn’t tell me [he wants to stay] but he didn’t have to. He speaks with his training and performances and behaviour. We had meetings this week, and the meetings were not about what we did in the past, it was about what we will do in the future.
“Mo was with the players’ [leadership] committee and had his moments where he was talking and it was nothing like ‘by the way, this is only until next week’ or whatever. He is completely here and if Dom said [he’s told players he wants to stay], fine.
“Mo doesn’t have to come into my office and tell me ‘by the way, boss… [I’m not going]’. For me it wasn’t a subject for one second, to be honest, besides the questions from the outside.”
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