Having seen a bid of £100M that could rise to £150M with add-ons rejected, Liverpool are expecting the Saudi Pro League to return with an even larger offer to test the Reds’ resolve to keep Mohamed Salah as the English transfer window nears its close.
That’s been the speculation off and on throughout the day, and while there remains no real news to report, it’s hard to ignore entirely given it’s the story everyone from Sky to your least favourite transfer influencers on social media won’t stop talking about.
Attempting to tease something half-way reliable out of the mess of chatter and speculation, The Times’ Paul Joyce confirms that the club are braced for a second bid, with a new effort potentially getting up into the £175-200M range when all’s said and done.
Such a large headlining number, though, would be expected to include add-ons. It’s also worth remembering it isn’t Al-Ittihad negotiating for Salah, it’s the Saudi Pro League itself and that nation’s Public Investment Fund negotiating and who would pay the fee.
For a league trying to sign one of the game’s top five attackers—and its most prominent Muslim—on deadline day, Liverpool can and should expect not a massive fee but a preposterous fee. Saudi’s £260M offer for Kylian Mbappé might be a good place to start.
Meanwhile, Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group have always been hands-off with the day-to-day running of the club and any profit would be expected to remain within the club. Salah’s sale wouldn’t come at the behest of, or to direct funds to, the owners.
Salah, too, won’t lose his value to the Saudi league next summer—or in 2025 or 2026 if he’s still up to top flight football. He’s worth more to their project than just his footballing talents. As long as their league remains solvent there will be a payday waiting.