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Mo Salah: Liverpool forward would need to force Saudi Arabia move himself

Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad are willing to pay £100m to sign Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah; the Saudi Pro League's transfer window closes on September 7; watch Newcastle vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Main Event on Sunday from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Mo Salah is not for sale

The only way Mohamed Salah will leave for Saudi Arabia this summer is if he forces through a dramatic late move away from Liverpool.

Sources in Saudi Arabia have confirmed Salah is a longstanding target for the Saudi Pro League (SPL) but there has been no indication that Liverpool are prepared to sell the player.

Liverpool have not received any offers for Salah and they have let it be known that the 31-year-old is not for sale.

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Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, also insisted Salah is "one hundred per cent" committed to the club as he confirmed on Friday that there had been no approach for the Egypt captain.

"He is essential for us," said Klopp ahead of Sunday's trip to Newcastle, live on Sky Sports. "There is nothing there. If there would be something the answer would be no."

Saudi champions Al Ittihad would be willing to make Salah one of the best-paid players in the world with a salary package worth about £1.5m a week.

They would also be prepared to pay Liverpool a transfer fee of more than £100m.

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"I don't worry about it, to be honest," Klopp told Sky Sports about his thoughts over whether the speculation could distract Salah. "Mo is a super-experienced player and 100-per-cent committed to us here, to the club."

The Saudi Pro League club made attempts to sign Salah earlier in the window and remain interested despite Salah's agent Ramy Abbas Issa saying earlier in August the player was committed to Liverpool.

When does the transfer window close in Saudi Arabia?

The Saudi Pro League window is due to close on September 7, nearly a week after the Premier League's transfer deadline on September 1.

Salah is the most famous Arab player in the world and a move to Saudi Arabia would raise the profile of the SPL even higher as it aims to become one of the leading leagues in the world as quickly as possible.

Salah signed a new three-year, £350,000-a-week contract last summer which made him the highest-paid player in Liverpool's history.

Al Ittihad are one of four SPL clubs who are owned by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF).

PIF announced in October last year it had signed sponsorship agreements with Saudi clubs worth £1.8bn.

All clubs in the SPL are effectively financed by the state and there is an element of central control when it comes to signings.

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Deals cannot be completed until they are approved by the SPL and its director of football Michael Emenalo plays a key role in mapping squads and advising clubs about targets.

Al Ittihad are playing in the FIFA Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia in December - a tournament which will also feature Manchester City.

Salah is expected to play for Liverpool at Newcastle United, who are majority-owned by PIF, on Sunday - live on Sky Sports.

Salah's former team-mates Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino have already moved to Saudi Arabia this summer.

What did Klopp say about Salah's future?

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Sky Sports’ Peter Smith and Vinny O’Connor reflect on their interviews with Jurgen Klopp following reports Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad are to bid for Mohamed Salah

Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports, Klopp said he knew nothing of the interest in Salah from the Saudi Pro League, and reiterated his frustration that the league's transfer window is open for almost another week after Transfer Deadline Day in England next Friday.

"I don't know anything about interest, but actually there's nothing from my point of view to say, but that there's speculation or whatever," he said.

"I think that's completely normal in this moment in time. I understand that 100 per cent. So there's a lot going on around us, but that's it, pretty much. I can't say anything else about it.

"If you are another club, if you're not Liverpool, a normal club in the Premier League or in other leagues, it's always possible that a big club comes in and wants players off you. Now that market is extended.

"So, I don't know if I'm worried about it or not, we will have to see that. We have our own experience with it, with Hendo and Fabinho. But, in general, what I said, what is a real problem is the longer the transfer window.

"It's a real problem because whatever happens to each club, and these kind of things, as long as you have the chance to react it's pretty much part of the business a little bit.

"When we can't react anymore it's a catastrophe. That's the truth. So, that's why I asked already, I think a few weeks ago, the authorities to maybe have a look at that because that would be really bad if they can just pick players. But we have no offer or anything, it's good at the moment."

'Salah is just not for sale'

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Kaveh Solhekol assesses the chances of Salah leaving Liverpool to join Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

"We've known for quite a while they want to sign Salah, and that as far as Liverpool are concerned he's not for sale.

"When these reports started emerging a month ago that they were interested, his own agent came out on social media and said Salah was committed to Liverpool. If that wasn't the case, he wouldn't have signed a new contract last summer.

"That contract makes him the best-paid player at Liverpool, still has two years left to run, and Liverpool are very clear that they do not want to sell him.

"But as we've seen all summer, these Saudi Pro League clubs don't take no for an answer. They have their lists of targets, and will do whatever it takes to sign those players.

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Watch Salah's best Premier League goals for Liverpool

"They're not going to give up, and the Saudi window is open for several days after the window closes here. This has a really destabilising effect on Liverpool, but it's something everyone in the game in Europe has had to get used to. The Saudi Pro League is here to stay and they have the money to try, and sometimes succeed, with buying the world's best players.

"I think Mo Salah is just not for sale. He's Liverpool's best-paid player. The last thing Jurgen Klopp wants is to lose him so late in the window. Klopp came out recently and said he was unhappy with how the SPL window was open after the Premier League window closes. He was worried about the fact Saudi clubs could come in and take players away from Premier League clubs after the window was closed here, so they couldn't replace them.

"If Al Ittihad do try to sign Salah after the window closes next Friday, Klopp's worst nightmares will have come true.

"This is the transfer market - Saudi clubs have a different window to Premier League clubs. Al Ittihad are doing nothing wrong. They're trying to sign a player.

"Does every player have their price? Will it get to a stage where the price is so high that Liverpool are tempted to cash in? There's been no indication so far from the club that this is the case.

"We've seen time and again this summer, Saudi clubs identify targets and throw money at these targets. We're talking about incredible sums of money, and we've been told some of these players who are reluctant to move are being told they'll be given 50 per cent of their wages over the whole term of their contract up front now, tax free, to tempt them to join."

Watch Newcastle vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Main Event on Sunday from 4pm; kick-off 4.30pm

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move in the final days of the transfer window before it closes at 11pm on September 1 in England and midnight in Scotland?

Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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