Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp is growing increasingly concerned that the club is looking to cash in on star striker Mohamed Salah, according to reports in The Mirror.
The Reds have already turned down a £150 million bid from Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad, but there’s growing confidence in the Middle East that an increased offer might still be accepted, given that the Saudi transfer window doesn’t shut until Thursday, 7 September.
A fresh offer of closer to £200 million is expected and, according to the Mirror report, while Klopp would prefer for the bid to be rejected, he’s nonetheless concerned that the figure would tempt club owners Fenway Sports Group to cash in.
Likewise, a lucrative £1.5 million weekly wage and the opportunity to be a Middle East icon would be difficult for the Egyptian to turn down, according to Sky’s Kaveh Solhekol.
The right time to sell?
As we have seen throughout the tenure of Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s transfer policy has always favoured younger players with resale potential, making Salah vulnerable to Al-Ittihad’s pursuit.
In the eyes of FSG, selling the 31-year-old for a world record fee would represent good financial business, given that his best years are clearly already behind him. This policy was in evidence with the sales of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson – to Al-Ittihad and Al-Ettifaq, respectively – despite Klopp’s desire to keep hold of both of them.
No chance of a replacement
That said, sanctioning the sale of Salah now would leave the Reds unable to sign a replacement until at least January, a notoriously bad window for finding good value.
And while Liverpool’s forward line is quite well stacked, Salah is the only senior left-footed option that can operate from the right-hand side and losing his goal output could severely handicap any Premier League title challenge.
Klopp, therefore, would prefer for Salah to stay for one more season and complete any move to Saudi Arabia next summer. However, the decision is likely to be out of his hands.