Liverpool and Arsenal will have same feelings on Saudi transfer deadline day

Clubs up and down Europe will be breathing a sigh of relief when the Saudi Pro League transfer window closes later today, but none will be happier than either Arsenal or Liverpool. Cristiano Ronaldo’s mega-money move to the Gulf state earlier this year set the trend for Saudi Arabia to make waves in the global football market.

Ronaldo was laughed at when he declared the Saudi league will be a ‘top-five league in the world’ if they’re able to attract more big-name players. Since those comments, flocks of superstar players have made the switch to Saudi Arabia.

Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Neymar, Ruben Neves, Aleksandr Mitrovic, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Gabri Veiga and Riyad Mahrez are just a few of the players to snub European clubs in favour of Saudi Arabia’s riches. Deals are still being done up until the deadline with Georginio Wijnaldum heading to Al Ettifaq.

They’re still able to make new signings up until September 7 – nearly a week after the Premier League transfer window closed. That’s caused some frustration among managers in Europe, with Jurgen Klopp calling on FIFA and UEFA bosses to step in.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah has been subject to an aggressive approach from Al Ittihad over the past few weeks, with reports indicating they’re willing to pay a world-record fee worth £215million. Klopp has repeatedly stated that Salah isn’t for sale, but serious questions are now being asked on whether Liverpool – or any club in Europe – can turn down that kind of money.

The Egypt international has remained quiet on the matter and his muted celebrations against Aston Villa last weekend only fed into Liverpool fans’ fears. Arsenal are in a similar position with both Thomas Partey and Gabriel attracting interest from Saudi Arabia.

Mikel Arteta will not want to lose either player as they bid to push Manchester City close once again in the Premier League. The Spaniard will also need a deep squad to choose from as Arsenal make their return to Champions League football.

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But, with the Saudi Pro League transfer window still open, there remains an air of doubt on whether players will have their heads turned by the large sums on offer. Salah is reported to have been offered similar wages to Cristiano Ronaldo worth a staggering £2.5m per week.

Clubs in Europe simply can’t compete with that kind of money and will be powerless to let their big names leave if they push for a move. But there’s now less than 24 hours for Saudi clubs to try and poach the players they want from Europe’s best clubs.

For Liverpool and Arsenal, they’ll finally be able to rest easy if they’re able to keep hold of their star players for the next few months at least.

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