Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah remains one of the top targets for the Saudi Pro League and will be given another chance to move to the Middle East this summer, 90min understands.
Salah was the subject of serious interest from Saudi outfit Al Ittihad late in last summer’s transfer window, but Liverpool held firm and declined to part ways with their talisman, whose contract runs until 2025.
With Salah approaching the final 12 months of his current deal, the Egypt international is expected to receive a fresh approach from Saudi officials this summer if he has not inked fresh terms before the end of the season.
Sources have stressed to 90min that Salah is very happy at Liverpool and the 31-year-old could commit to extending his stay at Anfield, although he is not expected to make a decision in the coming weeks. It’s a situation to be decided later in the year.
Until an exit from Anfield is formally ruled out, Saudi officials will retain hope of convincing Salah to make the move. While it was Al Ittihad who received approval from the Saudi Ministry of Sport to bid £150m for Salah last year, it is Al Hilal who are expected to lead the pursuit this summer.
Salah was on Al Hilal’s shortlist last year but was third name on the list of targets behind Lionel Messi, who joined Inter Miami, and Neymar, who was signed for a fee of €90m before suffering a serious knee injury just five games into his career in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi decision-makers have earmarked Salah as one of the top targets for the division alongside Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, but their pursuit will need a desire to make the move from Salah, who has a strong relationship with Saudi Pro League director of football Michael Emenalo.
Emenalo, who signed Salah during his tenure at Chelsea, recently admitted: “Mo Salah, like Messi, [Karim] Benzema, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and the likes of De Bruyne, these are players that when there is a sense of availability for them, we are willing to listen.
“But we also understand that Mo is happy where he is at present and in a historic, wonderful club at Liverpool. We respect that very much and we don’t want to come across as putting any pressure on him.”
Liverpool also have an amicable relationship with the dealmakers in Saudi’s Public Investment Fund. While they were initially unimpressed with the approaches for midfield duo Jordan Henderson and Fabinho last summer, the Reds appreciated the respect and direct contact they received over Salah when turning down an offer last summer. Mike Gordon made it clear via phone Liverpool’s desire to keep hold of Salah was genuine and Al Ittihad and wider parties involved walked away to protect the relationship.
What we know
- Liverpool knocked back several verbal offers for Salah from Al Ittihad last year
- Al Hilal expected to move for Egypt international this time around
- Salah’s Liverpool contract expires in 2025.