Leading into their Sunday matchup against Saudi Arabia-owned Newcastle United, reports spread throughout the football world that Al-Ittihad — who currently employ the likes of Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, and Fabinho — was preparing a mega-bid for Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah.
While Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that Salah is not for sale and reliable The Athletic reporter David Ornstein told NBC Sports on Sunday that a move for the 31-year-old Premier League legend likely wouldn’t materialize, a new report from CBS Sports suggests that Al-Ittihad is preparing to offer $162 million to acquire Salah’s services.
Sources indicate that the deal would be made up of around $108 million in guaranteed payments to Liverpool with a further $54 million in performance-related bonuses, not all of which would be easily achievable. The Reds’ stance throughout the summer has been emphatic, however.
For their part, Al-Ittihad hope that a salary package comparable with Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo, who are understood to earn around $216 million a year when bonuses and endorsements are factored in, will convince Salah to push for a move to Saudi Arabia. [via CBS Sports]
At this time, all reports have indicated that Salah is happy at Liverpool, will not force and move, and will respect the club’s wishes. The problem, however, is that the Saudis might offer a number so absorbently large that the notoriously cheap owners of the club, Fenway Sports Group, won’t be able to turn it down.
Liverpool selling Salah — especially in the wake of their thrilling 2-1 win over Newcastle and showing early signs of being a potential title contender — however, would likely result in an outright revolt from the fan base and perhaps even Klopp himself, who recently said the Egyptian is “essential for everything” the team does.
Earlier this month, when reports about Salah considering an offer from Saudi Arabia first began to crop up, his agent Ramy Abbas took to Twitter to staunchly deny the rumors, indicating that Salah wouldn’t have signed a new contract if he intended on leaving “this year.”
If we considered leaving LFC this year, we wouldn’t have renewed the contract last summer. Mohamed remains committed to LFC.
— Ramy Abbas Issa (@RamyCol) August 7, 2023
Currently, Salah has 140 Premier Lague goals, which puts him 14th on the league’s all-time scoring charts and just 11 goals away from taking Michael Owen’s spot in the Top 10.
If Salah keeps up his usual production of 20-30 goals per season, he could finish the year with about 165-170 Premier League goals, which would put him just 15-20 goals away from cracking the Top 5, which is currently occupied by Alan Shearer (260), Harry Kane (213), Wayne Rooney (208), Andrew Cole (187), and Sergio Aguero (184).
Salah, who joined Liverpool from Roma in the summer of 2017, is considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of both the Premier League and African football.