Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has expressed concerns about the significant gap in the transfer window duration between Europe and Saudi Arabia, emphasizing the potential impact on European clubs.
While Europe’s top leagues’ transfer deadline closes on 1st September, Saudi Arabia’s window remains open until 20th September, allowing their clubs to continue making high-profile signings while European clubs cannot.
Klopp highlighted the challenges posed by this extended window, stating, “It is massive, in the moment… 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.”
The Liverpool manager also stressed the importance of football governing bodies like UEFA and FIFA finding solutions to address this situation.
He acknowledged that Liverpool had already been impacted by players moving to Saudi Arabia, citing the examples of midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, who joined Al-Ettifaq and Al-Ittihad, respectively. Additionally, Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino signed for Al-Ahli after his contract with Liverpool expired in the summer.
The financial strength of the Saudi Pro League has caught the attention of elite clubs, with Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola noting that it has “changed the market” for transfers, urging clubs to be vigilant about the potential consequences.
Liverpool, having experienced a significant player exodus, had no plans to sell Henderson and Fabinho. However, the departures of midfielders James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Naby Keita at the end of their contracts have added to the club’s concerns, as they have lost five midfielders on a permanent basis this summer.
Klopp acknowledged the challenges ahead and emphasized that Liverpool would need to adapt and find ways to cope with the impacts of the extended transfer window in Saudi Arabia.