Liverpool have rejected a £150m bid for Mohamed Salah from Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad.
The Liverpool forward remains on a list of players who Saudi Arabia want to sign, but an initial bid of £100m – rising to £150m – has been turned down.
Liverpool are still adamant Salah is not for sale.
While the Premier League’s transfer window closes at 11pm on Friday night, Saudi Pro League clubs can make signings for almost another week with their transfer window closing on September 7.
Al Ittihad are willing to pay Salah £1.5m per week and are hoping to test his commitment to Liverpool, despite his agent Ramy Abbas ruling out a move earlier this month.
Al Ittihad and the Saudi Pro League are aware Liverpool will refuse to budge on their stance that the Egyptian is not for sale.
The figures being mentioned have clearly not softened that position.
The 31-year-old has been nothing but professional through the noise over this situation thus far.
‘Saudis want Salah as most famous Arab footballer’
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
“The Saudi Pro League believe Mo Salah is the most famous Arab footballer in the world and it would be a massive coup for them to have him playing there.
“He has been on a list of names the Saudi Pro League have compiled of players they want to sign this summer. There’ve been other big names on it like Karim Benzema, Neymar, who they have been able to get – but so far they haven’t managed that with Salah.
“They want to sign him, his name is on that list, and if they can get him they would like him to play for Al Ittihad, the champions. There’s still a possibility, before the Saudi window closes on September 7, they may make a move for him.
“This won’t be a conventional transfer we’re used to. Their transfers are different, it’s not a case of discussions between clubs and talks, them contacting Liverpool. This is a centrally-controlled operation, by the Saudi Pro League, the Ministry of Sport, the Sovereign Wealth Fund – and of course Al Ittihad.
“Salah has never come out and said he wants to move. The only public statement we’ve had was from his agent, which said that Mo had signed a new contract at Liverpool last summer, and he wouldn’t have done that if he wanted to leave.
“But, can I see him playing in Saudi Arabia? Yes I can, one day. I’m not saying it’s going to be in this window, January or next year, but the Saudis are very serious about signing Mo Salah and have almost unlimited funds.
He’d be one of the best-paid players in the world, earning at least £1.5m a week, and they’d be prepared to spend more than £100m to sign him, which is a lot of money for someone who’s already 31.
“Put that into perspective, they spent about £80-90m for Neymar, who’s also the same age.”
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