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01 September 2023

Mo Salah to Saudi? How the world's media is reacting as Liverpool receive unbelievable bid for Anfield legend

01 September 2023

As Saudi-based Al-Ittihad make an extraordinary £150m bid for Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, we take a look at how the world's media have reacted to the biggest potential move in the summer transfer window.

And while Liverpool have rejected the bid, many outlets are predicting there's plenty left in this race yet..

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah celebrates another Anfield goal (Mike Egerton/PA)

(PA Wire)

The Financial Times has underlined the economic impact of such a deal, highlighting that this move could trigger an inflation in an already escalating football transfer market. They noted how the Middle-East's relationship with football has been intensifying, with Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup, Saudi Arabia's ongoing investments in sports, including the ownership of Newcastle United, and UAE's Manchester City acquisition.

The deal, if successful, would be another instance of the Saudi's quest for sporting dominance.

ESPN, the American multinational sports broadcasting channel, noted this development with a tinge of scepticism. They termed the potential move as possibly being the most significant in the history of football transfers, yet questioned the probability of its fruition. ESPN highlighted Salah's loyalty towards Liverpool and the strong bond developed with his teammates, fans and the city itself.

British media outlet, The Guardian, pointed to the political implications of this deal. It mentioned the Saudi's public relations efforts, with the country increasingly leveraging sport to 'sportswash' its international reputation following criticisms on human rights fronts. By associating with a globally recognised figure like Salah, the Saudis might hope to enhance their global image.

Spanish sports paper Marca focused on the implications for the Spanish league. It proposed that if Salah does leave the Premier League, La Liga clubs might have a better shot at winning future UEFA Champions League titles.

In contrast, French newspaper L'Équipe examined the effect of this move on Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). Given that PSG is already home to some of the finest talent in world football, including Neymar and Mbappe, Salah's exit from Liverpool would ease PSG's competition in the Champions League.

Domestically, the Saudi press has been generally optimistic about the news. Al Riyadh, a prominent Saudi newspaper, exhalted the potential acquisition as a 'manifestation of the nation's embrace of the global sports industry', even going as far as to suggest that this could 'put Saudi Arabian football on the map'.

On the other hand, Egyptian newspapers expressed mixed feelings about the possible deal. Al-Ahram expressed pride in Salah’s global popularity that put him on Saudi Arabia’s radar. However, it also expressed concern about Salah moving to a less competitive league, potentially endangering his standing as a world footballer.

Social media platforms are rife with speculation, excitement and scepticism, with Liverpool fans across the globe waiting with bated breath to see where Salah's future lies.

Will the 'Egyptian King' stay loyal to his Anfield throne, or will the allure of the Saudis be too tempting to resist?

The clock is ticking...

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