RIP Jose Firmino! Thoughts and prayers are with Roberto and his family
Saudi club in crisis after £150m bid for Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah
Ever since Liverpool turned down their late bid to acquire Mohamed Salah, Al-Ittihad has had a rough season.
The Saudi Pro League had a busy summer, but the club’s £150 million bid for the Egyptian forward would have made him the league’s most prominent acquisition. Liverpool swiftly turned down Al-Ittihad’s offers, and now they’re reaping the benefits with spectacular play from Salah, who has contributed to 16 goals for Jurgen Klopp’s team.
Fabinho, who was Salah’s teammate at Liverpool, N’Golo Kante of Chelsea, and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema are all players that Al-Ittihad, one of four clubs supported by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has acquired. The squad nonetheless got off to a slow start, despite those high-profile recruits.
Following thirteen games, Al-Ittihad finds itself in fifth place in the league, trailing not only the three other clubs funded by the PIF but also Al-Taawoun, a team with a significantly lesser budget and no superstars to rely on. With 11 points separating them from early league leaders Al-Hilal, the squad is already well behind the competition.With four games under their belts, Al-Ittihad have taken control of their group and the AFC Champions League has been running more smoothly. Benzema was reportedly enraged at their recent 2-0 loss to Iraqi side Al Quwa Al Jawiya, which ended up being Nuno Espirito Santo’s last game as coach. After rumors surfaced that Julen Lopetegui, the current manager of Wolves, declined the position, the Argentine Marcelo Gallardo is expected to succeed the former Spurs boss.
Jоtа, whо cоst £25 milliоn frоm Celtic, hаs аlsо been lоst in the club’s mаd dаsh tо аcquire superstаrs. He wаs nоt selected fоr the Sаudi Prо Leаgue teаm due tо regulаtiоns regаrding the аmоunt оf internаtiоnаl plаyers.
From a footballing standpoint, Salah’s play for Liverpool this season has demonstrated that, in contrast to many others who have gone to Saudi Arabia, the striker is still very much at the top of his game. Since Salah is both a top player in the globe and a prominent Muslim athlete, it’s no surprise that the Saudi Pro League wants to recruit him.
It would appear that Al-Ittihad is not the ideal option for Salah, even if Liverpool were to consider moving him in the future.