Juergen Klopp has urged football’s governing body Fifa to look into Saudi Arabia’s transfer window closing three weeks after Europe’s, with the Liverpool boss disturbed that major European leagues will lose more players without being able to replace them.
The Premier League’s transfer window closes on September 1, the deadline for most of Europe’s top leagues, but Saudi Pro League clubs can sign players until September 20.
Liverpool have already seen three of their key players move to Saudi clubs, including skipper Jordan Henderson and fellow midfielder Fabinho while striker Roberto Firmino moved on a free transfer.
“The influence of Saudi Arabia is massive at the moment,” Klopp told reporters ahead of their pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich in Singapore.
“Pretty much the worst thing I think is that the transfer window in Saudi Arabia is open three weeks longer. If I am right, I heard something like that, then at least in Europe that’s not helpful.
“Uefa (Europe’s football body) or Fifa must find solutions for that. But in the end, at this moment, I don’t know exactly what will happen. It’s already influential for us but we will have to learn to deal with it... Time will show.”
Saudi Arabia have flexed their financial might by luring some of the best players from European clubs with lucrative contracts, including French Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema and his World Cup-winning compatriot N’Golo Kante among others.
The European exodus began last year when Al Nassr completed the marquee signing of Cristiano Ronaldo soon after the World Cup in Qatar, making the Portugal forward the highest-paid athlete in the world.
Klopp also dismissed reports of Liverpool looking to sign Kylian Mbappe on loan for the season as the Frenchman looks to leave Paris Saint-Germain, where he is at an impasse with the club.
Mbappe has also been linked with a world record move to Saudi Arabia, but media reports said he rejected the idea of playing in the Gulf kingdom as he eyes a transfer to Real Madrid.
“He’s a really good player, Klopp told Sky Germany, “but the financial conditions don’t suit us at all. I wouldn’t like to ruin the story now... but as far as I know, there’s nothing to it.”
“It’s possible that someone else from the club is preparing something and wants to surprise me... That hasn’t happened in the eight years that I’ve been here. That would be the first time.”
Mane for Al Nassr
Bayern Munich’s Senegal forward Sadio Mane has joined Al Nassr after one season with the Bundesliga champions, both clubs said on Tuesday.
Mane has signed a four-year contract, Al Nassr added on Twitter.
Financial details were not disclosed but media reports said the Saudis paid€40m ($43.85 million) for the 31-year-old who had two more years left on his Bayern contract.
Mane moved to Bayern last year after netting 120 goals in 269 games for Liverpool where he won the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Club World Cup.
He, however, failed to make the same impression at Bayern. He averaged more than 20 goals a season in his last five campaigns with Liverpool but scored only 12 for Bayern.