Klopp calls for UEFA to help Liverpool and other clubs amid ongoing ‘threat’ posed by Saudi Arabia

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called for UEFA to act amid what he called the increasing ‘threat’ of the Saudi Pro League towards European clubs.

An extraordinary summer transfer window has seen some of the biggest names in football swap Europe for the Middle East, with the Reds affected by the trend as Jordan Henderson and Fabinho joined the Gulf influx.

Al-Ittihad are also hoping to add Mo Salah to their ranks, with Ibrahima Konate also being linked with a Saudi move in recent days, and clubs in the west Asian country have a few days longer than their European counterparts to sign players due to a disparity in transfer deadline dates.

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Speaking in Friday morning’s press conference (via Liverpool Echo), Klopp voiced his concerns over the impact of the Saudi Pro League on clubs such as Liverpool and has implored UEFA to lobby for changes which’d strengthen the position of their flagship teams.

The Reds manager said: “I don’t know how stable [the Saudi Pro League] is or how long it will stay like this but I think the next two weeks will show how much of a challenge it is because whatever happens there, obviously, nobody [in Europe] can react anymore. That’s something I think UEFA or whoever should have an eye on to solve that because we all have to protect the game and we want to.

“We have to make sure with UEFA that these European leagues stay as strong as they are. For that you always need help from these kinds of things like changing rules or laws or whatever to make sense.

“We are all a bit surprised still probably in that sense by the activity from Saudi Arabia but a lot of players went there and that improves the league, definitely, and at the moment I haven’t watched it but it doesn’t mean I won’t, I just don’t know where to find it yet.

“That is the situation at the moment and I don’t know where it will lead to but it seems rather like a threat and a concern than not to be honest because I can’t see how we really can deny it in these specific moments.

“But what can we do? Say no and we can do that but that’s the difference between the contracts here and the contracts there. They are so big [in Saudi Arabia] that it causes problems, definitely, 100%.”

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With many of Europe’s transfer windows closing today but the Saudi Arabian equivalent remaining open for another week, you can see why Klopp is so frustrated over a situation which could leave Liverpool helpless to prevent players from leaving in the meantime.

The ongoing uncertainty over Salah’s future may well be giving the manager sleepless nights, and if the unthinkable happens and the Egyptian departs in the next few days, the Reds won’t be able to bring in a replacement.

Some cynics might argue that Europe’s elite clubs are now getting a taste of their own medicine from the Saudi Pro League throwing money at marquee players to tempt them into signing, but the German is right to call on UEFA to represent their members by trying to lobby for change.

Bringing the world’s major transfer windows into synchronicity could help to keep the Middle Eastern revolution at bay to some extent, although it won’t stop the Gulf’s wealthiest clubs from continuing to splash the cash in trying to attract Hollywood names away from the top European divisions.

It remains to be seen just what UEFA could do to try and stem the standout tide of the summer, but it’s easy to see why Klopp feels some action needs to be taken so that the likes of Liverpool aren’t in such a vulnerable position.

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