Charlie Adam believes that Mo Salah won’t leave Liverpool this week and that rumours of a move to Al-Ittihad are ‘mind games’ from Saudi Arabia.
The 31-year-old has been linked with a move to the Middle East in recent days, with Nuno Espirito Santo’s side reportedly willing to offer him a mammoth weekly wage of £1.5m (Sky Sports).
The rumours have emerged in the lead-up to the Reds’ Premier League clash against Newcastle United, who are owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund which also runs four clubs in the Gulf nation, to which numerous high-profile players have flocked this summer.
However, Adam is confident that the reports about Salah are nothing more than a manipulative tactic by the Saudis ahead of Sunday’s game at St James’ Park.
Speaking about the Egyptian on the talkSPORT Breakfast show on Friday, the ex-Liverpool midfielder said: “I don’t believe he will go. They are playing Newcastle this weekend; there is a bit of the Saudi-backed Newcastle situation.
“Maybe that’s something – they’re just trying to ignite the flame before the match and try to unsettle Salah. They know that Jurgen Klopp, all of the questions he’s going to get today in his press conference will be about Salah and Saudi Arabia.
“It’s maybe a bit of mind games as well. I was reading reports that this club were confident they were going to get Mo Salah. I don’t believe it’s going to be anywhere close, I don’t believe Liverpool will sell him.”
Adam makes a fair point about the timing of the rumours linking Salah with a move to the Saudi Pro League, which have conveniently sprouted in the days before Liverpool take on PIF-owned Newcastle.
Even if a transfer is nowhere close to happening, there’s a possibility that the 31-year-old could be tempted by a lucrative move to the division where his former attacking partners Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane are now based.
Two other ex-Anfield teammates in Fabinho and Jordan Henderson also flocked to the Middle East this summer, and the former plays for the same club who are now trying to recruit the Egyptian superstar.
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The seismic influence of the Saudi Pro League makes it impossible to discount any player in world football from being lured to the Gulf nation, but you’d hope that these rumours have come too late in the day for Liverpool to cash in on Salah, no matter how much is offered.
The attacker’s performance at St James’ Park tomorrow will be scrutinised very closely amid this unwanted backdrop, and hopefully a strong display from our number 11 will reinforce the belief that he’s quite happy where he is right now.