Klopp concerned over Saudi transfer window

AFP , Tuesday 1 Aug 2023

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on Tuesday urged football authorities to address the late closure of the transfer window in the Saudi Arabia league, fearing it may have a detrimental effect on European clubs.

Liverpool FC team manager Jurgen Klopp attends a press conference at the Singapore Festival of Football in Singapore on August 1, 2023. Photo: AFP


Speaking in Singapore on the eve of his team’s pre-season friendly against German champions Bayern Munich, Klopp voiced his concern while reacting to the news that former Liverpool striker Sadio Mane is set to leave Bayern to join Saudi side Al-Nassr.

Since the start of the year, clubs in the oil-rich Middle Eastern kingdom have spent generously to sign some of the world’s leading players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante.

And Klopp appears concerned that the closure of the Saudi transfer window on 20 September, three weeks after it shuts in Europe, could impact clubs who would be unable to sign suitable replacements

"The influence of Saudi Arabia? We will see. I don't know. At the moment it looks like they have quite an influence, it is massive,” said the German.

"I think that pretty much the worst thing is that the transfer window in Saudi Arabia is open for three weeks longer. If I am right, I heard something like that. Then, at least in Europe, that's not helpful. So UEFA and FIFA must find solutions for that.

"But in the end, I don't know at this moment exactly what will happen. It is already influential, for us, for sure. We will have to learn to deal with it, but that's what we do," he added.

That's pretty much all I can say about it, time will show."

Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel was also asked about the rising influence of Saudi football and he likened it to the Chinese Super League where clubs also spent heavily on importing footballing talent in the middle of the last decade.

“I’m just observing the situation, which is a very new situation,” said the Bayern boss.

“It’s maybe a bit similar to the situation when China started their league. It’s kind of a similar gold rush there and we're experiencing the next league which tries to become more popular, more famous and tries to build a brand by signing a lot of quality players and coaches," he added.

“It’s a completely new situation and a bit too early for me to have a clear opinion. So I'm an observer, a surprised observer.”

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: