Jurgen Klopp admits Saudi transfer concern – late deadline “not helpful”

Jurgen Klopp has admitted the threat of players leaving for Saudi Arabia is “massive,” and urged FIFA to address their extended transfer deadline.

With the takeover of the Saudi Pro League by the state’s Public Investment Fund, there has been a new concern for clubs in Europe this summer.

Liverpool are certainly not exempt from this, with Monday night seeing Fabinho join Jordan Henderson in heading to Saudi Arabia as he signed for Al Ittihad.

Neither player was expected to leave this summer, which has magnified the need for a rebuild in the middle of the park – with Klopp making “no secret” of his desire to sign a “proven No. 6” on Tuesday.

Addressing reporters ahead of Liverpool’s final friendly in Singapore against Bayern Munich, the German spoke about the new financial power in football.

Crucially, Klopp pointed out how the transfer window in Saudi Arabia does not close until September 20 – almost three weeks after business ends in England.

“The influence of Saudi Arabia, we will see,” he said.

“I don’t know, but in the moment it looks like it’s quite an influence, it’s massive in the moment.

“I think pretty much the worst thing is the transfer window in Saudi Arabia is open three weeks longer than at least in Europe.

“That’s not helpful. UEFA, FIFA must find solutions for that. But in the end, I don’t know in this moment what exactly will happen.

“It is already influential for us, for sure.

“But we will have to learn to deal with it and that’s what we do. That’s pretty much all I can say about it. Time will show.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 20, 2023: Liverpool's Luis Díaz during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s point on the transfer deadline in Saudi Arabia is, in a way, entitled, as clubs in England cannot expect those elsewhere to fall in line with their setup.

That has always been the case with potential bids from clubs in Russia and Turkey, for example, with their transfer windows also closing later.

But the sheer financial might in the Middle East is certainly more of a concern, with there already interest in another Liverpool player this summer.

In mid-July, it was widely reported that Al-Hilal were looking to sign Luis Diaz for around £43 million, though this was rejected out of hand.

While Liverpool consider Diaz not for sale, though, there is no stopping further offers for the Colombian – or any other player, for that matter – tempting exits after the English transfer window is closed.