Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been told the club may have no choice but to sell Mohamed Salah as details emerged of the staggering financial benefits they would gain from his sale to Al-Ittihad.
The Saudi Pro-League side are refusing to take no for an answer in the chase for the Egyptian superstar. As the leading name in Arabic football, his signing would be seen as the biggest coup yet for a country that has already welcomed a glut of top stars.
And while Liverpool are making it clear that all offers for Salah will be resisted, Al-Ittihad’s refusal to walk away from the deal – together with claims that Salah himself is ‘torn’ over the move – means his sale still remains a real possibility before the Saudi transfer window closes on Thursday.
So serious are Al-Ittihad about striking an agreement in Liverpool that a delegation of officials from the Gulf State club arrived in the UK on Monday to try and enhance their chances of settling on a fee.
Klopp, to this point, has made his position on Salah’s sale crystal clear. He insists that, under no circumstances, should Liverpool entertain his possible exit, no matter what the fees put before them.
However, with Jordan Henderson adding to the rumours that a move is possible after admitting he’s spoken with Salah about life in Saudi Arabia, details have emerged of the staggering final offer Al-Ittihad are to put before the Merseysiders.
All-Ittihad have already seen their £150m bid for Salah rejected.
But per reports, their latest offer is set to seriously test Liverpool’s resolve as details of the bid came to light.
Latest Mohamed Salah bid will seriously test Liverpool
They will reportedly offer Liverpool an initial £170m cash up front, with a further £45m set in achievable add-ons to take the deal through to the £215m mark.
That fee will set a new world-record with a prospective deal for Salah comfortably obliterating the £197m PSG paid for Neymar in summer 2017.
Moreover, they also want to pay Salah eye-watering wages in an effort to tempt him to quit Anfield. They plan to pay him a staggering £2.4m a week – close to double the world-record wages Ronaldo earns with Al Nassr – while also offering the player a series of other major incentives.
Detailing why Liverpool may yet be forced into the sale, The Sun has provided more details of the bonuses on offer to the 31-year-old Reds talisman.
‘He has been tempted with a large percentage of shirt sales, a £55,000 win bonus as well as ambassadorial roles for at least three major Saudi companies for the duration of his contract,’ the report claimed.
‘That could be worth an extra £18m with each firm willing to pay him £6m each.’
Discussing their latest approach, former Liverpool star and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher reckons the latest offer is simply too good for the Reds to turn down.
“When you look at what Harry Kane went for, about £100m, and he is a year or two younger but he only had a year to go on his deal at Spurs. Salah has two years to go, he looks after himself really well,” Carragher said.
“For Liverpool to sell now, they aren’t going to want what he is worth, they will want more than that.”
Andy Cole has his say on Salah future
Carragher continued: “He wouldn’t be worth £150m without the Saudi market, probably closer to £100m. But why have they left it so late? If they wanted him so badly, and they were prepared to spend the money, why didn’t they do it six months ago when they might have got him?
“It is up to Liverpool and it is up to Salah, he may not want to go. I think even for supporters who love him and don’t want him to move, if that number keeps going up and up, there is a stage where they can’t turn it down, and that would be £200m.”
Former Manchester United striker, Andy Cole, meanwhile, is also adamant that Liverpool cannot afford to reject that sort of money for Salah and may have to sell him, no matter how important he is to them this season, though he has revealed the main reason why they have so far resisted the Al-Ittihad approach,
“The biggest thing for Liverpool is that they haven’t got a replacement. If they got offered £215m for a 31-year-old, then why wouldn’t they consider it? They’d have to,” Cole told Betfred. “If they turned that down, then they’ve got nuts as big as watermelons. It’s a lot of money.
“The impact on Liverpool’s team would be massive if he left now. He, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane were phenomenal as a front three, but two of those players are no longer with the club and they’re starting again.
“Mo Salah is massive for his club when it comes to goals and he creates and scores a lot of the chances for his team so if he’s to leave, then Liverpool are losing a player that can get them 30 goals a season. Who else is going to get them that many goals? Cody Gakpo? Probably not.
“We need to see what happens, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they let him go in January or next summer.”