Al-Ittihad have accepted that Liverpool won’t sell Mo Salah now but they are likely to return for the forward next year, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Reds were stung twice by the Saudi Pro League over the summer with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho both deciding to leave for the Middle East.
And there were rumours in the final week of the transfer window that Salah could follow them with Liverpool rejecting a bid worth around £150m.
Liverpool, who beat Aston Villa 3-0 on Sunday, have been clear throughout that Salah is not for sale with the Saudi transfer window staying open until Thursday.
Transfer expert Romano insists that it’s “almost impossible to imagine Liverpool selling Salah” before Thursday but he reckons they might try again next year.
Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “The situation is calm on Mohamed Salah. He scored for Liverpool in the win over Aston Villa after the news that the Reds rejected a very big offer from Al Ittihad, though some sources close to the Saudi Pro League believe that they will return for Salah.
“However, now it is almost impossible to imagine Liverpool selling Salah, so it would probably be in 2024. They accept that Liverpool won’t sell the player now, but they will be back in the future.
“Still, we have to respect what Liverpool did because they turned down more than £100m for Salah when many people in the media were expecting this deal could go through, with some arguing that maybe they had to let a player of his age go for that kind of money. But it shows Liverpool’s stance both in public and in private, they always said he was untouchable.
“Liverpool will surely have no regrets – they are very happy with Salah, who continues to perform and to score goals, as always. Liverpool have been very strong and very clear on this, and their reward is to keep a top player who remains a key part of the project.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has explained that Salah hasn’t told him directly that he wants to stay at Anfield but the German doesn’t believe he has to.
Klopp said: “He didn’t tell me, but he didn’t have to. He speaks with his training and performances and behaviour. We had meetings this week, and the meetings were not about what we did in the past, it was about what we will do in the future.
“Mo was with the players’ [leadership] committee and had his moments where he was talking and it was nothing like ‘by the way, this is only until next week’ or whatever. He is completely here.”
New Liverpool signing Dominik Szoboszlai confirmed in an interview that Salah “wants to be” at Anfield and that all the players are “really happy that he has stayed”.
“You know it is football, everyone is talking,” Szoboszlai said. “We are really happy that he has stayed. We are of course speaking between each other but he wants to stay, he wants to be here and be with us. We are really happy, we need people in the team like him.”
When asked about Szoboszlai’s comments, Klopp replied: “If Dom said that, fine. Mo doesn’t have to come into my office and tell me ‘by the way, boss… [I’m not going]’. For me it wasn’t a subject for one second, to be honest, besides the questions [from the outside].”