Mohamed Salah won’t become an Al Ittihad player this week, with the Saudi club giving up hope of signing the Liverpool superstar before the close of the transfer window.
While the deadline for registering new players in Europe passed last Friday, Saudi clubs were given until 22:00 BST on Thursday, 7 September to complete their business, prolonging speculation over Salah’s future.
However, after rejecting a bid worth up to £150m last week, Liverpool’s stance on Salah has remained unwavering and Al Ittihad have since conceded defeat in their attempts to make a deal happen this summer.
READ MORE: Why would Mohamed Salah want to go to Saudi Arabia when he’s still in his prime?
Recent reports suggested the Saudi Pro League champions could make a last-ditch offer of as high as £215m in order to test Liverpool’s resolve, but it is now understood that they have accepted that Salah’s transfer is not possible before the window closes.
Instead, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will focus on recruiting a new defender, following the long-term injury of club captain Ahmed Hegazi – Salah’s Egypt teammate, once of West Brom.
While the Salah saga is over for now, David Ornstein of the Athletic writes that relations between all parties remain ‘good’ and interest remains for a future move.
31-year-old Salah has less than two years remaining on his current Liverpool contract and there is a growing suggestion that this could be his final season at Anfield.
READ MORE: How will Liverpool replace Mohamed Salah when the time comes?
Though he never pushed for a move to Saudi Arabia, some reports claim the Egyptian’s head was turned by the package on offer and a deal may ultimately suit all parties next summer.
Meanwhile, seemingly unfazed by the speculation, Salah spent the Saudi deadline day kicking back with Amazon Prime, as he posted a story to Instagram showing himself at home watching the series Vikings.
The Egyptian will not take part in his country’s AFCON qualifier against Ethiopia on Friday, with the EFA confirming the decision to give their captain a rest. However, Salah is due to join his teammates for a friendly against Tunisia on Tuesday, 12 September.