Al Ettifaq secured the signing of Demarai Gray but couldn’t resist the temptation to mock Jurgen Klopp over Mohamed Salah.
Gray is leaving Everton to join the Saudi Pro League side managed by Steven Gerrard in a £10m deal.
But rather than celebrate the incoming deal in isolation, Al Ettifaq appeared to take aim at Liverpool and Klopp for their refusal to sanction Salah’s sale to Saudi Arabia.
Gerrard was asked about a possible approach from Al Ettifaq for the Egyptian king earlier in the summer transfer window but played down the rumours, while rivals Al Ittihad failed in their bid to sign him.
In a video posted to their official Twitter account announcing the deal with Gray, an “Ettifaq transfer game” is played.
While Liverpool is selected in the Premier League section, the club tries to recruit Mohamed Salah, before being refused! met an angry face from Klopp.
He then moves on to Aston Villa striker Philippe Coutinho, who remains a target and whose Brazilian passport receives an arrival stamp, suggesting the player is set to move elsewhere.
Gray is then revealed and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano’s face can be seen with the words “Gray to Al Shabab”, before being deleted and replaced with “Demarai Gray to Al Ettifaq, let’s go”; with “successfully signed” appearing in green.
The 27-year-old, who hasn’t played for Everton this season, is leaving just days after appearing to take aim at manager Sean Dyche in a statement on Instagram.
“Everton fans have always been great to me but it’s very difficult to play for someone who doesn’t show you respect as a person,” Gray wrote.
Dyche responded in an interview with Everton’s website, saying Gray “didn’t want to train” and “didn’t want to be here”.
Salah’s future at Liverpool came under intense scrutiny last week.
The 31-year-old was the subject of a £150million bid from Al Ittihad which was immediately rejected by the Reds.
However, the Saudi Pro League side plan to return as they prepare a world record £200million bid for the winger.
The transfer window in the Gulf state ends on Thursday night, so it’s definitely a race against time if they want to find their man.
Salah, who has scored 187 goals in 307 appearances for the club since 2017, has two years left on his current deal.
Klopp, however, remained adamant throughout the match: the Egypt international is not for sale.
“The position remains absolutely the same,” the Kop boss said recently. “There is no doubt.
“He can’t go, that’s how it is. So there’s nothing else to say.”
When asked if a bid had been submitted, the German replied: “Not to my knowledge, but that doesn’t mean much, to be honest.”
The Saudi club, led by former Wolves and Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo, are set to return next summer if a deal does not materialize this time around.
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