Saudi Pro League director of football Michael Emenalo has reacted to Al Ittihad missing out on Mohamed Salah.

Emenalo has been the man tasked with doing business in an unprecedented summer for the Saudis. That included a massive bid for Salah, which was rejected out of hand by Liverpool.

And speaking in an interview with Sky Sports today, Emenalo was asked about the failed bid, insisting that things simply ‘didn’t align.’

Mohamed Salah
Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images

“First and foremost, Salah is one of the best players on the planet,” said the former Chelsea director. “I’ve said before, privately and publicly that we welcome anybody that wants to come to the SPL. That includes Salah.

“But we have to do things in a very professional and respectful manner. That’s what we’re there for, it’s what the SPL has been refined to do – bring professionalism, respect of efficiencies, and do things in a competent way.

“If it didn’t happen, it’s not because we no longer fancy the player, or because we have a problem with Liverpool. It’s because certain things that need to align didn’t.

“Nobody is angry, we move on, but we close no doors and if the opportunity is there to do things and do it well, and it brings Mo Salah to the SPL, we’ll be very grateful.”

Emenalo speaks out on Salah pursuit

This is a pretty roundabout way for Emenalo to say that Liverpool simply wouldn’t sell Salah, not now.

Clearly, the Saudis haven’t given up on the Reds star. Whether it’s Al Ittihad or Al Hilal, or one of the other state-backed sides, they’ll be back. But for the time being, he’s going nowhere.

It’s interesting that the director of football alludes to the fact that ‘nobody is angry.’ It has also been reported elsewhere that Al Ittihad and those in charge of the Pro League had been keen not to ruin a relationship with Liverpool over Salah.

Mohamed Salah

Having already done business with the Reds a couple of times this summer, plundering Anfield again is obviously something the Saudis have designs on.

Right now, it’s quite clear that Salah will be the object of that pursuit. Others, like Alisson Becker and Luis Diaz have also reportedly been of interest and may be again.

If they want to keep all of these players, it’s up to Liverpool to ensure that things don’t ‘align’ for the Saudi Arabian teams again.

For now, we’ll enjoy a respite until the January window opens. But given the amount of coverage Salah’s non-move has garnered, this won’t be the last we’ve heard of it until then.

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