Liverpool could end up at war with Steven Gerrard after their former captain made a transfer pledge. The 43-year-old coach has promised fans of Al-Ettifaq that he will return to Europe to add new signings to his squad.
Gerrard has had a mixed start to life as a manager in the Saudi Pro League. Al-Ettifaq sit seventh in the table, with six wins from their opening 12 matches of the campaign.
But they have won just one of their last four league games. Gerrard already returned to Liverpool to sign Jordan Henderson in the summer.
He also brought in former Reds favourite Georginio Wijnaldum, while Moussa Dembele and Demarai Gray are among his ranks. Gerrard knows, though, that further improvement is needed to challenge higher up the table.
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He said recently: “To assure our fans, we are going to scour Europe for more options. But we’ll also, more importantly, need to scour locally to improve this squad to be more competitive.”
That message could send alarm bells at Anfield amid speculation over the future of a couple of their players. Mohamed Salah remains a target of the Saudi Pro League and a move in the future looks inevitable.
Thiago Alcantara, yet to play this season due to injury, is also linked with a move to the Middle East. Jurgen Klopp will be determined to not weaken his squad in January as it is notoriously more difficult to recruit players in that window.
Liverpool’s fears over Salah can be eased somewhat as Gerrard claimed in August he wouldn’t make a move for Salah until he won another trophy with the Reds. Gerrard said: “No. The answer is no. Mohamed Salah is my favourite player.
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“I love Liverpool Football Club, so Mohamed can stay where he is. [He can join] when he wins more leagues and Champions Leagues with Liverpool, we’ll maybe consider it.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said last week that Salah is loving life at Anfield amid talk of a move elsewhere. He said: “Mo is here, Mo never came to me and wanted to go. I didn’t think a second about it, to be honest, should we [sell] or not, or whatever.
“So, yes, he’s here. He feels extremely well, you can see that he enjoys the team a lot.”
Klopp has also stated he “can’t wait” to have Thiago back from injury. But with his contract expiring at the end of the season, maybe Gerrard is eyeing up another deal with his old club.
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