Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad didn’t expect Liverpool to stand firm in the wake of their bid for Mohamed Salah yesterday.
Ittihad finally tabled their much talked about offer for Salah during Friday’s transfer deadline day. But, just as they said they would, the Reds rejected the reported £150m package.
And according to the Liverpool ECHO, this surprised the Saudi Club. They claim that Middle East sources have indicated that Al Ittihad believed the move would be a ‘formality’ once they hit send on their proposal.
However, Liverpool had always maintained that Salah was not for sale. With the bid reportedly offered over a phone call with CEO Billy Hogan, it was rejected ‘almost immediately.’
It remains to be seen whether Ittihad come back with another, larger offer. If they do, you’d expect the Reds’ position to remain the same.
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Ittihad underestimate Liverpool resolve
This is a brilliant little nugget of information that will perhaps bring a smile to every Liverpool fan who reads it.
Al Ittihad seemingly felt there was simply no way Liverpool would reject what they were offering for their No.11. But, for all the money they can throw at things, they seem to have forgotten one thing: this is Liverpool.
You can’t just waltz in on deadline day and snatch our best player away. We’re a behemoth of European football, we won’t be pushed into doing something that makes absolutely no sense for our football club.
With FSG running Liverpool the way they do, you can understand why Ittihad might have had confidence. The bottom line is very important indeed to John Henry and co.
Given the money on offer for 31-year-old Salah – and the wages saved – some might have felt FSG would buckle.
But to be fair to Liverpool’s owners, they have come to understand the club during their 13 years at the helm. They have made a fair few missteps, but they usually own them and back-track. Certainly, they realise that certain things are off limits.
Selling a superstar like Salah, with no time for a replacement being lined up, is one of those things. As Jurgen Klopp once told BBC Sport, Mo is ‘world-class.’ You don’t lose a player like that without a big fight. There’s still time for Ittihad to come back – and it seems that they will. But hopefully Liverpool’s answer will stay the same.