Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have been rocked by huge claims that three players might swap Anfield for Saudi Arabia before the summer transfer window closes on Friday.
Liverpool have seen three of their most experienced players head to the Saudi Pro League already this summer. Following the expiry of his Liverpool contract, centre-forward Roberto Firmino joined Al Ahli. He has since been followed to the Middle East by midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson, who have joined Al Ittihad and Al Ettifaq respectively.
While the Reds lost Firmino on a free transfer, they did receive money for Fabinho and Henderson. Al Ittihad paid £40million for Fabinho, while Henderson linked up with former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard at Al Ettifaq in a £13m transfer.
Liverpool talisman Mo Salah continues to be linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, despite both Klopp and the forward’s agent both trying to shut down such rumours.
Recently, there were claims that Al Ittihad are readying a massive formal offer for Salah worth £129m. And earlier on Wednesday, striker-turned-pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft claimed it is ‘likely’ Salah will leave Liverpool before the end of the week.
It remains to be seen whether that huge £129m offer for Salah materialises, or whether the Egyptian pushes for a transfer away from Merseyside. But now it has emerged that Salah is not the only influential star being pursued.
French outlet RMC Sport claim Al Ittihad have set their sights on centre-back Ibrahima Konate.
Having brought in top stars such as Fabinho, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante, Al Ittihad boss Nuno Espirito Santo is now looking to improve his backline.
Al Ittihad want Liverpool trio
The mega-rich club have made contact to try and capture Nice star Jean-Clair Todibo, but to no avail. And this has seen them plot an ambitious move for Konate.
While most players heading to Saudi Arabia are over the age of 30, Konate is just 24 and still has plenty of years at the top level ahead of him.
He is not the only Reds defender Al Ittihad want, as they are hopeful of completing a double deal involving Joe Gomez, too.
Konate’s departure would be particularly damaging for Klopp. The Frenchman is a rock at the heart of defence and will be relied upon to take up the mantle from Virgil van Dijk once the club captain retires.
Luckily for Liverpool fans, it does not look like Al Ittihad will be successful in their approach. RMC Sport add that Konate is highly likely to reject the offer as he wants to continue shining in the Premier League.
This will give him the best chance of becoming a regular starter for France ahead of Euro 2024.