Jürgen Klopp dismissed fresh reports linking Mohamed Salah with a move to Saudi Arabia, insisting the Egyptian forward is “essential” at Liverpool.
Al-Ittihad have signed Fabinho from Liverpool for £40m this summer and have renewed their interest in Salah, who still has two years left to run on his contract.
The sums being mentioned are staggering, with a £60m fee touted for the 31-year-old, who could allegedly pocket £155m over two years to become one of the highest paid footballers in the world.
However, Klopp revealed Liverpool have had no contact from any of the big-spending Saudi Pro League clubs, adding any official bids exceeding even £100m for their star asset would be rejected. Speaking in the buildup to Sunday’s Premier League trip to Newcastle, the Liverpool manager said: “It’s always a bit difficult to talk about media stories because there is nothing to talk about at the moment.
“We don’t have an offer, Mo Salah is still a Liverpool player, obviously for all the things we do, he’s essential and will be. There’s nothing there. If there would be something, the answer would be no.
“My life philosophy is I think about a problem when I have it. At the moment, there’s absolutely nothing. I said already if there is something, the answer would be no.”
Salah, who has scored 187 goals in 308 appearances since switching to Merseyside from Roma in 2017, is 12 months into a three-year deal which is the most lucrative contract in Liverpool’s history. It is barely two weeks since his agent, Ramy Abbas, insisted on Twitter Salah remains “fully committed” to Liverpool, and asked whether that remains the case, Klopp responded: “One hundred percent.”
A number of high-profile players have departed for the Saudi Pro League in recent months and adding to the angst of European clubs is the fact the Middle Eastern country’s summer window closes after theirs. The Premier League’s transfer deadline is on 1 September but, according to Fifa, Saudi Arabia’s extends to 20 September, and Klopp urged Fifa to align these windows.
Klopp, who will be without Curtis Jones and Thiago Alcântara for the visit to St James’ Park this weekend, said: “There’s a next level, definitely, and it’s not great but this is part of the business. I’m not sure if you can change that but what makes it, from a specific moment, not possible to deal with is our transfer window closes and theirs stays open so how can we react?
“From that moment we play until 1 January and this is our squad. That is what everyone is used to. We had it in the past with Russia, they had a different transfer window but that was not completely crazy money. It is new, challenging for everybody and we have to learn to deal with it.
“The authorities should make clear that if you want to be part of the system then you do your business at the same time. I am pretty sure Fifa could do it [clicks his fingers] like this if they want to.”