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Klopp warns Saudi Pro League threat after UEFA President plays down its impact | Football News

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has rejected UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin’s comments that the Saudi Pro League does not challenge the European game. Klopp said that the next two weeks will clearly show how big a threat the Saudi football teams actually pose to teams like Liverpool. Klopp’s statement comes days after Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah was heavily linked with Saudi side Al Ittihad over a potential summer transfer move.

Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (AFP)
Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (AFP)

“I don’t know 100% yet but I don’t think the Haaland and Mbappe example is a really good one. They are that young and earn already, so that is a different thing. I don’t know how stable it is and I think the next two weeks will show how much of a challenge it is because whatever happens there [after the Premier League deadline], no one can react anymore. That is something UEFA or whoever should have an eye on because we all have to protect the game,” Klopp was quoted as saying by ESPN.

Aleksander Ceferin had said earlier this week that players like Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland “don’t dream of playing in Saudi Arabia.”

The current summer transfer window has witnessed big names like Karim Benzema, Neymar and many more signing for the Saudi Pro League teams. Liverpool’s midfield duo of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson joined Saudi Pro League, signing for Al Ittihad and Al Ettifaq, respectively. Despite its dominance in the summer transfer market, the Saudi league seems to have failed to impress Klopp. The 56-year-old claimed that he has not yet seen any of the matches in the country.

“I love all my players who play now in Saudi, but I didn’t watch them yet. I don’t know where, so it is not like it distracts me from my watching habits. We are still a bit surprised by the activity from Saudi Arabia, I didn’t watch it yet but that doesn’t mean I never will,” Klopp said.

After letting Henderson and Fabinho go to Saudi Arabia this summer, Liverpool can very well have to deal with Salah’s departure. Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad have reportedly offered around €150 million (£128m/$163m) to lure the Egyptian away from the Merseyside-based club. The Reds are understood to be not interested at all in releasing their star winger on the final day of the summer transfer market. A report published by The Athletic claimed that Liverpool rejected a verbal offer to sign Salah, who signed a three-year contract with the club last summer. The report suggests that Al Ittihad approached Liverpool director Mike Gordon on Thursday night.

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