Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is so determined to ensure that Mohamed Salah does not quit Anfield for a move to Saudi Arabia that he has declined the chance to sign a Barcelona forward as a would-be replacement.
The future of the Egyptian star – one of the most recognisable faces in world football – has become a major talking point in recent weeks. Sitting fifth on the club’s all-time top scorers list, Salah has blasted in an astonishing 187 golas in 307 games since moving to Anfield in summer 2017.
However, after six trophy-laded seasons on Merseyside, there are real fears emerging that Salah is now ready to part ways with Liverpool.
That’s amid growing speculation of a move to Al-Ittihad with the Saudi Pro-League side ready to make Salah their latest high-profile acquisition. However, this is not just any transfer link Liverpool are having to bat off.
As the biggest name in Arabic football, Al-Ittihad are seemingly stopping at nothing to bring Salah to the Gulf State. And with a record-shattering offer being prepped to Liverpool, the Saudi side are also readying wages that will topple Cristiano Ronaldo’s £1.3m a year package and make the 31-year-old the best-paid sportsman on the planet.
As a result, it is easy to see why this is no ordinary offer Liverpool find themselves facing.
With two years left on his Anfield deal, together with fears that his powers could go into decline given his age, it is perhaps easy to see why FSG could be tempted to accept such an offer.
And with one pundit boldly claiming a ‘move will go through this week’ and that Salah has ‘played his last game for Liverpool’, it seems the rumours are refusing to disappear any time soon.
Klopp puts his foot down on Mohamed Salah Liverpool exit talk
Klopp, however, is adamant that Liverpool cannot afford to accept the sale of Salah for any price. An integral part of the Liverpool side, he is the one world-class player for whom the German has come to rely on.
As such, a report in the Daily Star claims Klopp has let it be known to FSG in no uncertain terms that he would be ‘furious’ if the sale of Salah was allowed to go through, especially given the late stage of the transfer window.
Speaking about the player over the weekend, Klopp did all he could to deflect claims away that Salah could be on the move.
“It’s always a bit difficult to talk about media stories because there is nothing to talk about at the moment,” Klopp began.
“We don’t have an offer, 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.”
With Salah’s agent also underlining his commitment to Anfield, Klopp is adamant that Salah remains committed to Liverpool. And in response to questions his loyalty could be wavering, Klopp was asked if he was sure Salah wanted to stay, to which he replied: “One hundred per cent.”
However, the rumours refuse to die down and a storm looks likely to be brewing on Merseyside should the official bid to land on their doorstep.
Liverpool decline Barcelona invite to sign Ansu Fati
With the Salah rumours refusing to go away, Barcelona reportedly saw an opportunity to offer Liverpool the chance to sign their winger Ansu Fati.
The 20-year-old winger is certain to depart the Nou Camp this week as Barcelona look to ease their financial burden. Once viewed as the heir to Lionel Messi, Fati has made 112 appearances for Barca, scoring 29 goals.
But in recent times, he has fallen down the pecking order with the Spanish champions actively looking to move him on this summer.
That has led to strong speculation linking the winger with a move to the Premier League. To that end, both Chelsea and Tottenham have been locked in a battle for his signature in recent weeks.
Of the pair, it seemed Tottenham had edged into the lead for his signature. However, perhaps surprisingly, it is Brighton who are now on the cusp of a deal, reports Fabrizio Romano.
The Seagulls are involved in advanced talks with Barca over a deal to sign Fati on an initial loan deal with an option to make the move permanent. It is the presence of manager Roberto De Zerbi, together with the offer of European football, that has seemingly helped Brighton secure his signing.
However, the Daily Mirror reports that Barcelona also tried offering Liverpool the chance to sign Fati. However, Reds boss Klopp has declined the offer in the belief that Salah will in fact stay.
Whether that proves to be a shrewd move or not remains to be seen. Either way, it seems Klopp is putting his foot down over Salah’s future and any sale of the Egyptian would be wholly against the wishes of the Kop boss.