Saudi Arabia’s astronomical capital is starting to reach out to Premier League superstars again. This time, it’s an Arab star.
The British edition of global sports publication The Athletic reported on Friday (Aug. 25) that Al Ittihad has rekindled its interest in Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.
“It is unclear at this stage whether a deal for Salah will materialize. Liverpool still characterize Salah as ‘NOT FOR SALE’,” the report said.
Salah’s agent also wrote a social media post in early August that directly denied reports linking the player to a Saudi club.
Rami Abbas tweeted on August 7: “If we were going to leave Liverpool this year, we would not have re-signed him last summer. Salah remains committed to Liverpool.”
Salah signed a new three-year contract with the Reds last summer, with his weekly wages rising to £350,000 ($586.32 million), making him the highest-paid player in the club’s history.
U.S. broadcaster CBS Sports also reported Al Ittihad’s interest, stating that the club is “making a move for Salah a year earlier than expected.”
“Salah has long been in the Saudi sovereign wealth fund’s plans, and they were expected to make him a major move in the summer of 2024. However, the move has been accelerated as the club is determined to make Al Ahli the best possible squad before hosting the FIFA Club World Cup in December.”
Al Ittihad currently has Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, and Fabinho, who has played alongside Salah. Fabinho earned a whopping £40 million in transfer fees when he left this summer.
According to CBS Sports, “Salah will be offered a package salary in the neighborhood of what Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nasr) and Neymar (Al Hilal) receive. His base salary alone would be in the neighborhood of €70 million ($100.5 million) a year, and his total earnings could be double that.”
Al Ittihad are managed by Nuno Espirito Santo, formerly of Tottenham Hotspur, and won the Saudi Professional League in the 2022/23 season. They were recently drawn in Group C of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, where they will be looking to make it three in a row.
In addition to the three players mentioned above, Al Ittihad currently have a striker named Jota, who played alongside Oh at Celtic. However, he has recently announced his intention to leave the club after being unhappy with his situation, leaving one foreign player quota spot open. This is one of the factors that could spur a move for Salah.
Salah joined Liverpool in the summer of 2017 and has been at the peak of his powers. Starting in 2017/18, he exploded for 32 league goals and 11 assists and 10 UEFA Champions League goals, making up for a disastrous Premier League career at Chelsea with a flawless offensive performance.
With 187 goals and 80 assists in 307 appearances for Liverpool and 140 goals and 60 assists in 233 Premier League games, Salah has won the Premier League Golden Boot three times (2017/18, 2018/19, 2021/22) and was named Player of the Year in 2017/18. In 2021/22, he won the Golden Boot as well as the Playmaker of the Year award with 14 assists.
In 2018/19, he led Liverpool to their sixth Champions League title by defeating Tottenham Hotspur, and the following season he helped the Reds to their first ever Premier League title.
Salah has also made his mark with the Egyptian national team. He led his country to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, 28 years after the 1990 World Cup in Italy. His A-match record is 49 goals in 88 games.
What makes it even more significant is that Saudi Arabia, the flagship nation of the Arab world, will be hosting a star from fellow Arab nation Egypt.
Riyad Mahrez (Algeria), who has already won the triple (Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League), is headed to Al Ahli, and the ambition is to add Salah to the mix. For the Saudis, it’s an excuse to get Egyptian soccer fans to watch the Saudi league. 메이저놀이터
For now, Salah continues to play for Liverpool. With one goal and one assist in his last two games, Salah will be ready to take on Newcastle United in the third round of the Premier League at St. James’ Park in Newcastle upon Tyne at 0:30 a.m. on May 28.