A Brazilian news outlet has sought to set the story straight regarding the reasoning behind Fabinho’s transfer from Liverpool to Al-Ittihad being delayed.
There were reports over the weekend that the midfielder’s £40m move could collapse because of Saudi Arabia’s ban on ‘dangerous and aggressive dogs’, with the Brazil international owning two French bulldogs, which the government could potentially classifiy under that category (Daily Express).
However, Globo Esporte have insisted that the deal is being dragged out for purely bureaucratic reasons rather than anything to do with the 29-year-old’s pets.
They claim that the delay is due to a missing bank statement to serve as proof of funds to facilitate the completion of the transfer, following on from a meeting of Al-Ittihad representatives in London over the weekend.
Fabinho is still expected to fly out to Saudi Arabia in the coming days to sign a contract with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side and finalise the move.
On surface level, a missing financial document seems a more standard and plausible reason for delaying a transfer than a dispute over the legality of dog breeds in a country.
However, only the parties involved in the prospective deal will know the real reasons as to why it’s being held up, and how long it’ll take for any complications to be sorted before it can officially go through.
Whatever the reality might be, it still seems likely that Fabinho will seal his move to Al-Ittihad before long, which’ll leave Liverpool needing to bring in a replacement for his defensive midfield role in the team.
Reports this morning indicate that a move for Romeo Lavia could be getting closer, with personal terms being agreed and the Reds set to table an offer to Southampton for the player.
That’d at least ensure that Jurgen Klopp has someone in to fill the number 6 vacancy, but there’s still a possibility that the manager will want another midfielder through the door to ensure that he has an experienced option to compensate for the loss of the Brazilian stalwart.
It promises to be a busy few days on the transfer front, and there could be plenty of twists and turns during the remaining five-and-a-half weeks of the current window.