Liverpool is not in the running to sign Kylian Mbappé, manager Jurgen Klopp said on Tuesday as he laughed off links with the Paris Saint-Germain superstar striker.
Mbappé is the subject of a record 300 million euro (332 million USD) bid by Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal.
He could also be open to a temporary move for this season before leaving on a free transfer next year — possibly to join Real Madrid — at the end of his current contract.
Klopp said Mbappé wouldn’t be coming to Liverpool on loan.
“We laugh about it,” Klopp told broadcaster Sky Germany as he prepared the squad for the final match of its preseason Asia tour against Bayern Munich in Singapore.
“I can say that I think he’s a really good player, 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.”
Klopp has seen midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho move to the Saudi Pro League this offseason, while striker Roberto Firmino has also gone to the oil-rich kingdom after his contract at Liverpool expired.
The Saudi league is hoping to raise the profile of football in the country by signing some of the world’s top players. Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al-Nassr in December, and many have since followed. Bayern confirmed Tuesday that Senegal forward Sadio Mané is leaving the club for Al-Nassr.
Klopp is unhappy that the transfer window in Saudi Arabia is open until Sept. 20 — nearly three weeks after the European window closes.
“It is massive, in the moment,” Klopp said about Saudi Arabia’s influence in quotes carried by British broadcaster BBC. “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 or FIFA must find solutions for that. But in the end, at this moment, I don’t know exactly what will happen.”
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