Saudis ‘thought they’d signed Mo Salah’ and had private jet for Liverpool ace

Jurgen Klopp dismisses Mohamed Salah transfer talk

Saudi Pro League team Al-Ittihad thought they had landed Liverpool star Mohamed Salah last week, according to reports, and had even lined up a private jet to fly the forward out to Jeddah. The Reds rejected a £150million offer for the 31-year-old but still face a battle to hold onto him this week, with the Saudi transfer window remaining open until Thursday.

Salah has been a revelation since joining Liverpool from Roma in 2017 and has helped the Reds win the Champions League, the Premier League and the Club World Cup, as well as the FA Cup and the League Cup.

He signed a contract extension with the Merseyside giants last summer to take his Anfield stay up to 2025. But Al-Ittihad are desperately pursing a move for the Egypt international following a summer which has seen Saudi Pro League teams flex their financial muscle.

According to the Liverpool Echo, the president of Liverpool’s Fenway Sports Group owners, Mike Gordon, instantly rejected Al-Ittihad’s approach for Salah after the Saudi club were sure they had done enough to convince the Premier League team to sell.

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A delegation from the Middle East then reportedly flew to London on Saturday in an attempt to get the deal over the line – and Al-Ittihad could now be set to bid £200m for the ace. But Al-Ittihad chiefs viewed Tuesday as their final day to make a transfer breakthrough.

And the Saudi club face an uphill battle as Liverpool, who won the Premier League for the first time in 2020, have no interest in facilitating the player’s move away and consider the matter closed, having reiterated their refusal to consider offers.

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“He didn’t tell me [he is staying], but he didn’t have to,” explained Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after watching his team defeat Aston Villa 3-0 in the Premier League on Sunday. “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. 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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