The president of Al-Ittihad has promised to spill the beans on his club’s pursuits of Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah and Manchester City ace Kevin De Bruyne, while varying reports claim new bids are coming.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr at the end of 2022 kickstarted a talent drain from Europe to the middle east. Ronaldo was the first truly global superstar to join the burgeoning Saudi Pro League and even had an influence on certain managers – such as Steven Gerrard – making the jump.
A series of blockbuster names including N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez, Neymar, Roberto Firmino and Karim Benzema have all joined the SPL. The bulk of instantly-recognisable names have signed with four clubs in particular.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund now control a quartet of clubs and it’s there where the superstars have primarily gone. Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad, Al-Hilal and Al-Ahli are the four in question.
From a Liverpool perspective, the club troubling them the most is Al-Ittihad. Indeed, it is they who The Athletic claimed saw a verbal offer worth a whopping £150m for Mohamed Salah rejected in the summer.
Now, speaking to Spanish outlet AS, Al-Ittihad president, Anmar Al-Haili, has promised to speak out on his club’s quest to sign Salah.
De Bruyne and Salah remained in England, while Ramos returned to boyhood club Sevilla as a free agent.
Al-Haili said: “I remained silent… but I hope to be able to respond soon to what happened in the last week of the summer market regarding Salah, Ramos… and De Bruyne.”
New bids for Salah, De Bruyne expected
But while the three moves all failed, various new reports all suggest new approaches will be made.
Firstly, AS note ‘everything indicates that in the next winter market [Al-Ittihad] will return to the fray [for De Bruyne].
De Bruyne’s current contract with City expires in the summer of 2025. Aged 32, a mega-money offer could potentially appeal to City. The chance to collect one gigantic final payday may also appeal to the player.
Elsewhere, ESPN reported on November 16 that Al-Ittihad ‘are expected to return with a new bid for Mohamed Salah.’ The report claimed the new approach is likely to come in January.
Like De Bruyne, Salah is out of contract in the summer of 2025. Liverpool will be loathe to lose such a potent attacking weapon, though money can and often does talk for owners FSG.