Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad have been linked with yet another Liverpool player.
The PIF-backed club signed Fabinho for £40m earlier this summer, while they have recently made overtures at Mohamed Salah.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side supposedly want to put Salah among the highest-paid footballers on the planet and are prepared to offer Liverpool £86m up front to get him this summer. Nevertheless, a deal seems highly unlikely this window.
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On top of that, another recent report claimed that Joe Gomez is ‘very high’ on Al Ittihad’s shortlist for a new defender.
Now, Fabrice Hawkins of RMC Sport claims that Al Ittihad have also ‘sounded out’ Ibrahima Konate in the centre-back search, having been knocked back by OGC Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo.
However, it is added that Konate ‘feels good’ at Liverpool, suggesting little chance of a deal actually materialising.
The 24-year-old Frenchman, who joined the Reds for around £36m in 2021, is currently out with a muscle injury having missed the win over Newcastle on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp has suggested Konate is likely to return after the international break, but could feature at the weekend against Aston Villa – when Liverpool will be without suspended captain Virgil van Dijk.
Liverpool are also in the market for a new defender and have looked at Piero Hincapie of Bayer Leverkusen. European clubs have until 23:00 BST on Friday, 1 September to complete their business. However, the Saudi Pro League window remains open until Wednesday, 20 September, potentially leading to another three weeks of rumours and destabilisation involving Premier League stars. Klopp branded the late Saudi deadline ‘not helpful’ earlier this summer, calling on football’s authorities to look at the issue.
Interestingly, Saudi Pro League sides currently have a registration limit of eight foreign players per team, meaning Al Ittihad – who currently have all eight slots occupied – may have to ditch one of their non-Saudi stars before actually bringing in another big name.
There are rumours that former Celtic star Jota – who only moved to Jeddah for £25m this summer – could be the man to make way for a new defender.