Transfer insider Ben Jacobs has stated Liverpool star Mohamed Salah will be at the centre of a transfer “battle” and “whoever gets him” can be decided by one variable.

European sides saw their players flock to Saudi Arabia this summer. After Cristiano Ronaldo had moved to Al Nassr during last season, a lot of talent followed him in the following transfer window.

The likes of Karim Benzema, Ruben Neves, N’Golo Kante and Kalidou Koulibaly headed to the Saudi Pro League.

Players at different levels and during different stages of their careers have moved to the Middle East, with the allure of huge wages certainly helping those decisions.

The European exodus could have included Liverpool superstar Salah, had the Reds allowed the move to go through.

Towards the back end of the Saudi transfer window, Al Ittihad identified him as a major target, and made a huge attempt to snare him.

It was reported by David Ornstein that the Saudi side had ‘offered £100million plus substantial add-ons’.

Liverpool turned that down, and despite Al Ittihad reportedly having prepared a £200million bid, it never came, and the winger remained safely at Anfield for at least this season.

Salah Saudi exit still on the cards

Insider Jacobs has detailed why Al Ittihad went so hard for the star man at the back end of the window.

“What’s interesting about the Salah thing is that Al-Ittihad were pushing late in the window because they wanted Salah for the Club World Cup,” he told GIVEMESPORT.

While they were the only side pursuing him in the last transfer window, next summer, they might have a battle on their hands.

“But they’re also aware that in a year’s time, they may not be front of queue out of the PIF clubs to get Salah, it might actually be Al-Hilal,” Jacobs added.

“Whoever gets Salah can be defined even by who wins the league. So there’s a lot of moving parts to these deals, and believe it or not, the club is often allocated by dealmakers quite late.

“So Al-Ittihad might have missed the boat on Salah, it will all just depend on things like did they win the league title again? And where the deal makers think it’s best to place Salah.”

Al Hilal interest revealed

Jacobs’ suggestion that Al Hilal could top the list stems from the fact they now have a very competitive squad, and could therefore win the league – they’re top at the moment – and be the most suitable option to cater for Salah.

However, they could have been the side who went hardest for the winger – having finished third last season – if they hadn’t splashed around £77.5million on Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

“Prior to Neymar’s arrival, Al-Hilal also had Salah on the list. It went Lionel Messi one, Neymar two, Salah three, in terms of their ranking, because a lot of the clubs have to input who they want and effectively rank the names,” Jacobs said.

“So had Neymar not chosen Al-Hilal, then Al-Hilal would have probably also gone for Salah this summer.”

They still might be the best option next season, Jacobs believes.

“And I think that next summer, there’ll be a sort of battle within Saudi to try and get Salah and dealmakers are going to have to decide where the best club is strategically to place him because like I say, that’s just how some of these deals work,” Jacobs added.

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2023-09-18T08:56:34Z dg43tfdfdgfd