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Jurgen Klopp insists Mo Salah not for sale – but admits “threat” of Saudi bids

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As speculation continues over the future of Mohamed Salah amid interest from Al-Ittihad, Jurgen Klopp has again insisted the winger is not for sale.

Friday marks deadline day for the transfer window in the Premier League, with suggestions of “fireworks” when it comes to Liverpool’s No. 11.

Of course, that claim from The Athletic’s David Ornstein overlooks the fact the Saudi window extends later into September, meaning there is no real urgency over a deal.

This, in turn, could suggest it serves as more of a PR offensive than any genuine intent.

But regardless, with Al-Ittihad reported to be preparing an offer of at least £150 million for Salah, worries over a surprise exit persist.

Liverpool, though, are adamant the Egyptian is not for sale – as Klopp reiterated in his pre-Aston Villa press conference.

“The position remains the same, absolutely,” the manager said.

“No doubt about that. We cannot [sell Salah]. That’s how it is. Nothing else to say.”

Asked if an offer had been received, he replied: “Not as far as I know, but that doesn’t mean a lot, to be honest.”

The fact that the Saudi deadline is after the transfer window closes for Premier League clubs means there will be a lingering doubt over any offers beyond 11pm on Friday.

In theory, Al-Ittihad could submit an offer considered impossible to turn down – either for Salah or Liverpool – after September 1 and the club will be left unable to replace him.

That issue was Klopp’s focus as he discussed the power shift due to the enormous wealth of those clubs in the Saudi Pro League.

“I don’t know how sustainable it is, how long it will stay like that, I don’t know all these kinds of things,” he continued.

“But I think the next two weeks will show how much of a challenge it is, because what happens there, obviously, nobody can react anymore.

“That’s something I think UEFA or whoever should have an eye on, to sort that.

“We all have to protect the game and we want to. It’s not a league or whatever, it’s the game.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 19, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp added: “We’re all a bit surprised still probably by the activity in Saudi Arabia. But it happened a lot and a lot of players went there.

“That improves the league there, definitely. And that’s the situation.

“I don’t know where that will lead to, but it feels rather like a threat or a concern than not.

“I can see how we really can’t deny it in these moments.

“What can we do? Say no? We can do that, but the difference between the contracts here and the contracts there are that big that that causes problems, definitely, 100 percent.”

Beyond Salah, there have been claims of interest in Joe Gomez and Luis Diaz from Saudi clubs, while Ibrahima Konate is said to have turned an approach down.