Liverpool were happy to sell Mohamed Salah this summer, amid interest from Al Ittihad.
The Reds stood firm in the face of big pressure from the Saudi Pro League side, with a verbal offer of up to £150m being rejected out of hand.
Throughout the past few weeks, the line has been the same from Liverpool: Salah is not for sale. But according to journalist Miguel Delaney’s Reading The Game newsletter though, the Reds weren’t actually as firm as is being made out.
The report claims that the ‘feeling within the game’ is that Liverpool were prepared to discuss terms with Al Ittihad. It’s suggested that the kind of fee being talked about for Salah actually made ‘business sense and arguably football sense’ to the Reds.
However, the one sticking point was reportedly how Mo’s sale would be perceived by the fans. Because of how much the 31-year-old means to supporters, FSG did not sanction his sale. Too right!
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Fans feelings taken into account
It’s hard to argue too ferociously that the money on offer wouldn’t have been considered by Liverpool.
At the end of the day, FSG run the club as a business. For them, the kinds of figures the Saudis were putting forward would surely be taken very seriously indeed.
So, in that respect, this shouldn’t be a surprise. In the end, whoever made the decision to stand firm, whatever the reasons, did right by the club and the fans.
To sell Salah now would have been catastrophic to Liverpool’s season. It would have caused huge unrest amongst the fanbase and would have turned the mood towards the owners very ugly indeed.
Maybe it was this that went through their heads, rather than what the fans would actually feel about Salah’s sale. Either way, the result is the same.
The one person being ignored in this though – aside from Mo himself – is Jurgen Klopp.
Delaney claims it would ‘arguably’ make football sense to sell Salah at this point. But what on earth are the arguments for? Jurgen once described his No.11 as ‘world-class’ [BBC Sport] He is exactly that. If they asked the boss – which surely they did – he’d have told them exactly where to go.