Liverpool subject to 'astronomical' Mohamed Salah bid from Saudi Arabia as 'decisive' action taken

Liverpool faced an approach from Saudi Arabia for Mohamed Salah last summer.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia's sports minister has offered an insight into Al-Ittihad's failed pursuit of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

The Egyptian has faced speculation over his future at Anfield during the last 18 months following the influx of Saudi Pro League interest in players around Europe. Liverpool saw former captain Jordan Henderson and Fabinho make the switch to the Middle East signing for Al-Ettifaq and Ittihad, respectively.

Salah was fiercely linked with a move away from Merseyside as the Kingdom looked to lure the 32-year-old, joining ex-Reds teammate Roberto Firmino and Manchester United icon Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Ittihad, managed at the time by Nuno Espirto Santo, launched a £150million transfer offensive to Liverpool on the eve of the summer transfer window deadline. A move to Saudi Arabia was flouted throughout that summer but a bid didn't materialise until the latter stages.

Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Saud shed light on the huge financial package on offer but admitted they ended their interest after being rebuffed by Jurgen Klopp's side. "Al-Ittihad requested Salah, and the package was astronomical," he said via Ben Jacobs.

"He was under contract and we [The Ministry of Sport] were not in direct negotiations. So we enquired to Liverpool and they said they had no desire to sell and so we ended the matter decisively."

Liverpool rejected the approach and had been steadfast in their refusal to entertain the prospect of selling Salah, who scored 25 goals and added 14 assists in all competitions last season - including providing 10 times in the Premier League and netting on 18 occasions in the English top-flight.

Salah, who is expected to join up with Liverpool for the first time under new head coach Arne Slot this week, has one year remaining on his contract at Anfield.