Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool future assessed | Football Digest
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp snapped at questions about Mohamed Salah’s future after the Egyptian remained at Anfield during the summer transfer window. Salah was strongly linked with a switch to Saudi Arabia, where Pro League champions Al-Ittihad were reportedly willing to pay £200million for the forward, and Klopp has once again batted away questions surrounding his future.
Klopp grew frustrated over questions about Salah in the build-up to deadline day on September 1. He then continued to be asked about the 31-year-old in the week before the Saudi window closed on September 7.
And the frustrated German was incredulous that reporters were already asking about the winter market just two weeks after the summer window shut. Asked about reports linking Salah to Saudi Arabia in January, Klopp hit back? “You are kidding me, yeah?
“A week after it closed you ask me about the January transfer window? You can’t wait until December to ask these questions? I’m not worried about [Salah’s future] and [I] wasn’t until you opened the wound again. I’m not worried.”
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In the week before the Saudi transfer window closed, Klopp insisted that Salah was committed to Liverpool. The player’s agent, Ramy Abbas Issa, reiterated that his client would not have signed a new contract last summer had he expected to leave 12 months later.
But that did not prevent rumours swirling that Al-Ittihad – one of four clubs majority-owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) – were confident that they could strike a deal. A £150m offer was believed to have been rejected by Liverpool.
It is unclear if a second offer was formally proposed, but it was widely reported that it would include a fee close to the £200m world record set by PSG when they signed Neymar in 2017. Salah would have been made one of the best-paid players in football history had he completed a move.
One player who did join the Saudi project, though, was Salah’s former Liverpool team-mate Jordan Henderson. The ex-Reds captain had revealed that Klopp had not been clear that he wanted the midfielder to remain at Anfield in a recent interview.
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However, Klopp appeared to dismiss that idea and said: “I didn’t read the interview at first, then read it so I can make my own opinion. Hendo said the truth. That’s how it was. We had talks, I told him I wanted him to stay but we talked about maybe not playing regularly.
“I cannot tell a player they can have 50 games because I don’t know that. In our relationship, I thought it was important we speak about ‘what happens if’. Hendo, I love him but he was not great when he didn’t play, [James] Milner and Lucas [Leiva] were the same. So we talk about that now.
“So in Hendo’s ears and mind, he thought I didn’t want him there. If I said Hendo would be the main man for me he would stay but I couldn’t. That’s why it’s better he moved on. Not a bit of bad blood. He was captain of the best Liverpool team in the Premier League era.”
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