Saudi Pro League director refuses to give up Mohamed Salah pursuit

Saudi Pro League director Michael Emenalo has admitted “the door is not closed” to a future bid for Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah.

Salah and Paul Pogba were the top two targets for the Saudi league earlier this summer, but intentions to pursue a deal in 2024 were advanced by a year when Al Ittihad contacted Salah to try and recruit the Egypt international this year.

After Liverpool rejected a verbal offer of £150 million, Al Ittihad made it plain that, should Liverpool decide to consider proposals, they would be willing to surpass Neymar’s £200 million sale to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

The bulk of Liverpool fans, including manager Jurgen Klopp, were adamantly opposed to selling Salah, and the Reds ultimately resisted Saudi Arabia’s attempts to sign their star, despite the fact that other Liverpool fans were eager to at least hear such a sizable proposition.

During a recent interview with Sky Sports News, Emenalo was asked about the interest in Salah, and he wouldn’t rule out reigniting the pursuit in the future.

Salah is undoubtedly one of the world’s top players, according to Emenalo. “I’ve previously stated that we welcome anyone who wishes to visit the SPL, both privately and publicly. Salah falls under this.

But we have to act in a way that is both respectful and professional. We are here to bring professionalism, respect for efficiency, and competence to the table, and that is what the SPL has been honed to achieve.

If it didn’t happen, it wasn’t due to a disagreement with Liverpool or a change in our feelings towards the player. It’s because some elements that needed to line up didn’t. Nobody gets upset, we go on, but nothing is closed. If there is a chance to act, act properly, and it brings Mo Salah to the SPL, we will be extremely grateful.

Emenalo continued by refuting suggestions that the Saudi league will have the same demise as the Chinese Super League, which experienced enormous investment in the 2010s but finally collapsed after only a few years.

“Not only will it last longer, but I believe it will be there to stay and it will continue to grow,” he said in his conclusion. “Anyone who has followed Saudi football in any way will be aware of the country’s population’s intense devotion to the sport. This is a well-thought-out strategy that has existed for a very long time, and the effort made in this window simply demonstrates that the finest footballers will be easily interested in joining the league.

We don’t just hire athletes and pay them to run around and become renowned for a few days. There is a plan in place to develop the academies and upgrade the facilities for recreational football. That is part of a larger plan. Because it involves more than just player acquisition, I think the league will be around for a very long time.