West Ham’s Michail Antonio believes that Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was ‘ready to go’ to Saudi Arabia this summer. Salah was the subject of official interest from the Saudi Arabian Pro League, with Al-Ittihad submitting an offer of £150m on deadline day that was promptly rejected by the club.
The Middle Eastern club tried to prize Salah away and even threatened a second bid, but with his deal expiring at the end of next season, there was no need to sell - even with the huge sums of money on the table for the 31-year-old.
Antonio, who has been in good form for West Ham, believes that Salah didn’t turn down a move and that he wants that move in the future.
Antonio said: “He didn’t turn that down, no way. He was locked up and the Reds had put that red arrow across: ‘You are not going anywhere’. He did not stop that at all. To be fair to him, he didn’t kick up a fuss and let them do what they were doing. But I know for a fact that he was ready to go.”
“What else can he do at Liverpool? He’s done it. It’s [Saudi] a great opportunity for him, he is a Muslim man and it had everything screaming out for him. There was no actual negative for the man to not go. I understand he has a contract, which he has fulfilled.
“So he wins another [Premier League title], do you know what that just means? He has won another. It doesn’t add much to anything else. He has done everything he could possibly do at Liverpool. I am saying to you right now, a Muslim man going to a Muslim country, £215m to Liverpool for a 31-year-old - I just find it completely crazy they’ve not accepted that.
“My question to you is this: what do you think Liverpool are playing for this year? Even if you couldn’t replace the man, let’s call this season a write-off.”
Salah has been in a hot streak of form at the start of the new season, netting two goals and providing four assists as Liverpool have won four of their first five games.
He has developed into one of the club’s best ever players after reaching 200 goal contributions in 223 games in the league and it’s likely another bid will come in next summer from abroad.
However, after what will be seven seasons at the club, any bid around £150m is likely to be accepted given he would have one year left on his current deal at the end of this season.
Nothing is set in stone and he could still fire Jurgen Klopp’s side to glory this season and add to his already glittering career on Merseyside.