Al Ittihad may not be the only Saudi club chasing Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool's record Premier League goalscorer has been the subject of open courting from the Saudi Pro League champions this summer, who reportedly want to make him the world's highest paid footballer.
Al Ittihad have already seen a bid worth up to £150m including add-ons rejected, and with the Saudi transfer deadline passing on Thursday, 7 September, Liverpool consider the matter closed.
However, there are reports that the Saudi champions could return with a final bid as high as £215m, as they look to test Liverpool's public stance, believing that Salah wants the move.
The likelihood of such an offer being accepted, however, remains incredibly slim, with Liverpool unable to sign a replacement for their number 11 until January at the earliest.
Jurgen Klopp has maintained that Salah is not for sale and remains committed to the Reds, having started the 2023/24 Premier League season in fine form with three wins from four.
However, the Thursday deadline is unlikely to be the end of the saga.
Next summer, Salah will have just 12 months remaining on his Liverpool contract, adding pressure to the situation.
Journalist Ben Jacobs, writing in his CaughtOffside column, claims that Al Ittihad aren't giving up in the chase for the Egyptian superstar – but they aren't the only possible suitor either.
“[Al Ittihad] don’t want to give up and could table a second bid of around £200m. But it remains to be seen whether this will be simply to make a splash or because they genuinely think they stand a chance," he writes.
“Al-Ittihad want to push now because they would love to have him play in this year’s Club World Cup in Jeddah. But also there is no guarantee they will be the allocated club for Salah in 2024 because of now these type of deals work.
“Al-Hilal is also a possibility. The Riyadh-based club had Salah on a wish list alongside Messi and their now new signing Neymar. And by landing Neymar they didn’t explore Salah this window. Al-Ahli may also be considered as well next summer."
Discussing whether a deal could still be done this September, before the Saudi transfer window shuts, Jacobs is not optimistic.
He writes: “It’s incredible money, but Liverpool can’t replace Salah and have said throughout August they don’t want to sell. It will be extremely unexpected if that changes in the next 48 hours.”