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Klopp delight as Saudis backtrack on blockbuster Mo Salah signing amid Liverpool ‘respect’

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Jurgen Klopp has been given a major boost at Liverpool, as the chief of the Saudi Pro League has downplayed a huge January swoop for Mo Salah.

Salah is understood to be the next top target for the Saudis, who have already added big-name stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Karim Benzema and Sadio Mane to their top flight. Al Ittihad are the most likely club to sign Salah from Liverpool, having bid a whopping £150million for him over the summer.

That offer included an initial £100m payment, plus a further £50m in potential add-ons. Despite the incredible money involved, Liverpool immediately rejected the offer for their talisman as they continue to view him as being key to Klopp’s success.

There was talk of a second, £215m proposal for the right winger, which would have made him the most expensive player of all time, ahead of Neymar’s £200m transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain in August 2017.

Liverpool made the right choice in opting to reject all advances for Salah, as he has been in great form yet again this season. His record stands at 14 goals and eight assists from 22 matches so far, and he is far and away Liverpool’s top scorer this term.

Despite Liverpool swatting away all previous attempts to land the Egyptian, Al Ittihad are expected to return with a new approach for him in 2024.

In November, Michael Emenalo, the director of football for the Saudi Pro League, revealed that he wanted to start signing elite players, rather than those who are right at the end of their careers.

Although, Klopp will be delighted as it is unlikely Liverpool will have to deal with any offers for Salah this winter.

Michael Emenalo discusses Liverpool raid

In an interview with Sky Sports, Emenalo has stated that he will ‘respect’ Liverpool when it comes to the 31-year-old’s future, and that a bid will only be made once the player himself signals a desire for a new challenge.

“Mo Salah, like [Lionel] Messi, [Karim] Benzema, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, these are players that when there is a sense of availability for them, we are willing to listen,” the league chief said.

“But we also understand that Mo is happy where he is at present and in a historic, wonderful club at Liverpool. We respect that very much and we don’t want to come across as putting any pressure on him.

“But if there is any interest to do something, Mo Salah is a player that you want in your league, in any league.”

When asked if he was ruling out a winter swoop for Salah, Emenalo added: “We respect Liverpool and in this scenario, the initiative to do anything won’t come from us. There has to be an aligned interest from all parties involved.

“It’s a very personal thing, as a player that I recruited [for Chelsea] and I like. There’s nothing I’m saying that is new or ground-breaking – that a player of this level of talent is available and your league wants him.

“If Mo Salah is available, has an interest to come and everything is aligned, I would be incredibly delighted.”

Liverpool fans will be ecstatic if Salah opts to remain with them for another season. He is an icon at Anfield, having recently hit the 200-goal mark for the club. Salah’s deflected strike in the recent 2-1 away win over Crystal Palace also saw him reach 150 Premier League goals, a feat he has achieved in 247 appearances.

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