Reports that Fabinho's dogs are holding up his £40m transfer to Al-Ittihad are not true, despite widespread speculation.
Fabinho's move to the Saudi Pro League has been inching towards completion for several days now, with the 29-year-old Brazilian left out of Liverpool's pre-season trip to Germany.
PIF-backed Al-Ittihad have submitted a £40m offer for the midfielder and he is expected to re-unite with former coach Nuno Espirito Santo in the Middle East.
However, since word of the bid arrived nearly two weeks ago, progress on the actual deal has been slow — leading to some wild speculation about the hold-up.
Widespread reports over the weekend — apparently originating from a Twitter user's screenshot of strict Saudi law around dog ownership — suggested Fabinho's transfer could yet collapse because his pets (two French Bulldogs — pictured below) wouldn't be allowed into the country.
2 days to goooo. They are ready.
How are you all feeling????? pic.twitter.com/ME9acbBOn3
— Rebeca Tavares (@reebecatavares) May 26, 2022
Meanwhile, Sky Germany's Florian Plettenberg claimed separately that Bayern Munich were monitoring Fabinho's situation and could hijack a deal if anything were to go wrong with the Saudi deal.
However, Globo Esporte now report that the dogs story is all bark and no bite.
The Brazilian outlet claims to have contacted Fabinho's entourage who say the issue of whether dogs can enter Saudi Arabia is "not a concern and was never an obstacle in the transfer".
In reality, the only thing holding up the transfer is unspecified (non-canine related) 'bureaucratic details'.
As reported last week, Fabinho has already completed a medical with his new side and the only thing appearing to delay the move is the sanctioning and release of funds by the Saudi government.
Once Fabinho departs, Liverpool are expected to ramp up their search for a successor with Romeo Lavia and Cheick Doucoure among the targets.