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Mo Salah to Saudi Arabia Not Happening This Summer – But Could It Next Summer?
Mo Salah recently turned down a bid to move to the Saudi Arabian league. Could he make the switch next summer?
For a number of years, the English Premier League has had a monopoly on the world’s top football players and managers. Clubs in Spain, Italy, and Germany simply can’t match the spending power of the EPL, and the league’s dominance of the football world has looked unshakable, until now.
Saudi Arabia, and the Middle East in general, doesn’t have much in the way of footballing history or heritage. What they do have, however, is money. Lots of it. As well all know, money talks in football, and the tide is slowly turning as Saudi Arabia looks to establish itself in the footballing hierarchy. Could we see Liverpool icon Mo Salah head for the Saudi league next summer? Find out here.
This summer has been like no other in the football world. A shift is taking place that, while relatively small at the moment, could turn seismic before we know it. The Saudi Arabian league, the Saudi Pro League, has been flexing its financial muscles and tempting over some of the world’s best footballers.
Mo Salah, the mercurial Liverpool forward who recently became the club’s all-time top EPL scorer, has been the latest to be linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League. According to reports, Saudi side Al-Ittihad prepared a bid of £52 million for the Egyptian, which came with an annual salary offer of £155 million.
However, Salah turned the offer down, using his agent to express his commitment to Liverpool, news that was no doubt a relief for Liverpool fans.
Who Has Gone to Saudi Arabia?
However, Ronaldo isn’t at his peak any longer. Many people assumed the move was an indication that the Saudi league was becoming something like the MLS, a league where once-great players go to see out the ends of their careers.
However, the Saudi league wasn’t looking to become a retirement destination and began moving for prime players with blockbuster offers to tempt them away from Europe.
So far, we’ve seen Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez, Karim Benzema, and N’Golo Kante all joining Saudi teams. The latest Saudi signing came just yesterday, as Al Ahli secured Barcelona defender Franck Kessie.
What Does this Mean for Football?
The EPL’s stranglehold over football has been long criticised. Detractors maintain it has created an uneven playing field and that it has tipped the balance in favour of the English clubs. For a time, it looked like it was the new status quo, and that nothing would be able to topple England from the top.
Things look different now. Saudi Arabia appears to have unlimited resources and has made several statement signings that indicate they mean business. We could be seeing a changing of the guard, with Saudi Arabia claiming the top spot as the financial king of the football world.
Could Mo Salah Go Next Year?
While Mo Salah turned down a move to Saudi Arabia, Al-Ittihad could well return with another bid next season. A second bid will likely offer substantially more money, an amount that even someone as rich as Mo Salah might find tough to turn down.
Liverpool will be keen to hang on to Salah whatever the cost, but they could find it impossible to stand in the way of Saudi Arabia’s slow march towards football dominance.
Mo Salah looks set to stay in the EPL, for now at least. However, we could see the Liverpool forward make the switch next year if Al-Ittihad return with an improved bid.