Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reacted angrily to suggestions that the Saudi Pro League could continue its pursuit of Mohamed Salah in January.
Al-Ittihad recently tempted Liverpool with a huge bid for Salah while the transfer window remained open in Saudi Arabia. Liverpool stood firm, though, avoiding another of their players moving to the Middle East after Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino.
One of the main reasons Liverpool were inclined to reject Al-Ittihad’s advances was the fact that they could not have immediately signed a replacement. When the transfer windows re-open in January, though, that will no longer be the case, which has led to plenty of speculation about suitors from the Saudi Pro League testing their resolve again at the next opportunity.
But when pressed on the topic of selling Salah in the winter, Klopp hit back at reporters during a Friday press conference.
The Liverpool boss responded: “A week after it closed you ask me about the January transfer window! You can’t wait until December to ask these questions?
“I’m not worried about and wasn’t until you opened the wound again. I’m not worried.”
While Salah has stayed put, the Saudi Pro League now contains several players who used to be at Klopp’s disposal. As well as the trio mentioned above, the likes of Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum have also ended up there.
Klopp reacts to Henderson interview
Probably the most controversial Saudi swoop for a Liverpool player, though, was when Al-Ettifaq bought Jordan Henderson.
The former Liverpool captain recently claimed he felt unwanted by the club towards the end of his time at Anfield. Now, Klopp has confirmed Henderson’s revelations that he could not offer him guarantees about gametime.
Klopp said: “I didn’t read the interview at first, then read it so I can make my own opinion. Hendo said the truth. That’s how it was.
“We had talks, I told him I wanted him to stay but we talked about maybe not playing regularly.
“I cannot tell a player they can have 50 games because I don’t know that. In our relationship, I thought it was important we speak about ‘what happens if’.
“Hendo, I love him but he was not great when they didn’t play, Milner and Lucas were the same. So we talk about that now.
“So in Hendo’s ears and mind, he thought I didn’t want him there. If I said Hendo would be the main man for me he would stay but I couldn’t. That’s why it’s better he moved on.
“Not a bit of bad blood. Captain of the best Liverpool team in the Premier League era.”
Klopp was speaking ahead of Liverpool’s return to action against Wolves in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off. You can see Robbie Savage’s prediction for TEAMtalk here.