Al Ittihad end Mohamed Salah pursuit – for now at least

Al Ittihad have conceded defeat in their attempts to sign Mohamed Salah before the Saudi transfer deadline on Thursday.

The Saudi Pro League champions had made Liverpool's number 11 their main target in the latter stages of the window, after Neymar joined Al Hilal and Lionel Messi opted to move to MLS' side Inter Miami.

Despite Liverpool's public stance that Salah was not for sale, Al Ittihad continued to court the Egyptian and reportedly offered a salary package that would've put him among the very highest paid players in the world.

The Saudis saw a bid of up to £150m, including add-ons, rejected by Liverpool, and were tipped to return with a final offer of that could have totalled as high as £215m in order to test the Reds' resolve before the close of the transfer window on the evening of 7 September.

Despite reports that a Saudi delegation even flew to England for a last-ditch push on the deal, it appears that no bid will arrive before the Saudi deadline passes.

Instead, Al Ittihad have conceded that a transfer cannot happen this summer.

READ MORE: Why would Mohamed Salah even want to go to Saudi Arabia right now?

The Telegraph say that Al Ittihad believe it's now too late to complete a deal – even if Liverpool's so far unwavering stance were to suddenly change.

The Salah saga is now over, at least until January, with the report adding that Al Ittihad will revisit their interest in future windows.

Meanwhile, Foot Mercato, who back up claims that Al Ittihad have walked away from a late Salah bid, add that the Jeddah club will instead focus their efforts in the remaining hours of the window on the signing of a centre back, namely Real Betis' Luiz Felipe.

The Saudi champions, who are managed by Nuno Espirito Santo and have signed Karim Benzema, N'Golo Kante and Fabinho this summer, were reported to have taken an interest in Liverpool defenders Joe Gomez and Ibrahima Konate earlier this summer, though neither story came to anything.

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