Liverpool 'blocked' Mohamed Salah from making Saudi Arabia transfer last summer

Mohamed Salah of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on May 10, 2024 in Kirkby, England.

Liverpool will be pleased with its decision to hold on to Mohamed Salah last summer. While he has suffered a drop-off in form since injury at the African Cup of Nations, he has once again been the leading provider of goal contributions over the course of the campaign, and the Reds would certainly never have been in the title frame at all had they sold him to Saudi Arabia when the offer came in.

It won't be a case of simply cashing in the same massive check this summer instead. Saudi Arabia is slowing down its recruitment drive, and Al-Ittihad (home of Fabinho) probably won't match the $190m (£150m/€175m) offer it previously put on the table (BBC).

In any case, Liverpool is planning to once again keep Salah. Contract talks are planned, but even if a new deal cannot be agreed by Michael Edwards and the rest of the new-look recruitment setup, there has been no suggestion a sale could take place.

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However, it has been claimed that a deal last summer was closer than we realized, and that Salah himself actually agreed the move. Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority, said as much to the MMA Hour podcast.

"I don't have information [this year], but I have information last year. He was accept, but Liverpool changed their mind in the last second. He was accept and I think this is one of the problems what he have in this year with his team."

Liverpool would hardly have had time to change its mind, with the bid coming right at the end of the Premier League transfer window. Had it arrived earlier in the summer, there might have been more of a conversation, but Jürgen Klopp would not have appreciated losing his best player at such short notice with no time to sign a viable replacement.

As for Salah 'agreeing' the move, he may well have been open to the possibility, as so many big names were last year. Whether that stance has changed remains to be seen, with the reputation of the Pro League not exactly soaring. Either way, Liverpool clearly isn't expecting him to push for a move this time around. says: The only discontent Salah has shown all season is when he has been substituted, or left on the bench. He doesn't look like a player who had a dream move 'blocked' — as always, he appears supremely driven to achieve the best for himself and his club.

That being said, Liverpool was right to give the Saudis a flat 'no', especially given how late the bid came in. A transfer would have represented good value on a spreadsheet, with a huge return on an aging player, but it would have left the squad with a major uphill battle to return to the Champions League places.