Liverpool are facing the ultimate test of their resolve after a report claimed a record-shattering bid worth £150m will soon be lodged for Mohamed Salah.
Salah, 31, remains Liverpool’s most potent attacking weapon. The Egyptian ace has top scored for the Reds in each and every one of his six full seasons at Anfield.
Salah is the last man standing from Liverpool’s fabled front three that included Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Mane and Firmino were both lured to the burgeoning Saudi Pro League earlier this summer. Mane joined Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr, while Firmino is now part of an eye-catching attacking corps at Al-Ahli that includes Riyad Mahrez, Allan Saint-Maximin and Gabri Veiga.
Salah too is wanted in Saudi Arabia, with Al-Ittihad determined to make the Liverpool icon the face of the league.
The fact the Saudi Pro League’s transfer deadline shuts one week after England’s has irked many a manager including Jurgen Klopp.
Indeed, English clubs are vulnerable to Saudi raids after England’s 11pm deadline on Friday night. If they were to lose a player between September 2-7, they’d be denied the chance to sign an adequate replacement.
That, combined with the fact Salah remains at the peak of his powers has prompted Liverpool to insist they will not sell Salah this window.
However, according to the Telegraph, that won’t stop Al-Ittihad posing the question with a truly monstrous bid.
Private Liverpool stance on Salah sale revealed
Indeed, the outlet state Al-Ittihad are ‘willing to offer a record Premier League fee’ for Salah. The amount they’re prepared to pay is £150m including add-ons.
The most expensive ever addition to an EPL side is the £115m Chelsea paid when signing Moises Caicedo from Brighton earlier this window.
Overall, the Telegraph state the most lucrative transaction is the £130m Liverpool received when selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in 2018.
£150m for Salah would demolish both of those marks and set an all-time Premier League record.
But before the new mark can be set, Al-Ittihad must pull off a major shock and somehow convince Liverpool to sell.
On that front, the Telegraph are keen to stress the Reds have shown no signs thus far that they will cash in if and when the colossal bid is lodged.
Klopp too has publicly declared his talismanic winger will not be going anywhere.
“We don’t have an offer,” Klopp said recently when discussing Salah to Al Ittihad speculation.
“Mo Salah is still a Liverpool player, obviously for all the things we do, he’s essential and will be. There’s nothing there. If there would be something, the answer would be no.
“My life philosophy is I think about a problem when I have it. At the moment, there’s absolutely nothing. I said already if there is something, the answer would be no.”
There’s further good news for those not wishing to see Salah leave just yet, with the Telegraph insisting Liverpool’s private stance is the same as their public one.
Indeed, the report adds ‘Liverpool themselves are privately saying Salah is not for sale.’
As such, while Al-Ittihad are certainly prepared to set records, it appears Liverpool simply aren’t willing to play ball.
In further good news for the Reds, a €45m bid to sign Netherlands international Ryan Gravenberch has been accepted by Bayern Munich.
Gravenberch’s scheduled flight to Merseyside on Thursday night was cancelled, though Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg insisted the move is not in danger.
Instead, Gravenberch will simply fly to England ahead of undergoing a medical on Friday morning.