Saudi Arabia are expected to come back with a £200 million bid for Mohamed Salah after Liverpool rejected Al-Ittihad’s initial £150 million approach.

The much advertised formal offer for Salah was lodged within hours of the Premier League deadline. It consisted of an initial £100 million with a further £50 million in add-ons.

As the club had stated privately and publicly, it was instantly met with a firm rejection by Fenway Sports Group president Michael Gordon, with a polite reiteration that the club will not countenance Salah’s departure in this window at any price.

Since the Saudi interest in Salah was ramped up, Liverpool have been unequivocal and they hope their response shows they are true to their word. While ‘not for sale’ messages can occasionally sound like a negotiating tool to push the price up, there has been no bluff from FSG.

The reality for Liverpool is they need their assets on the pitch to fulfil this year’s objectives, not a fortune in the bank. Put simply, with only hours of the transfer window open, Salah is irreplaceable so there is no price that can make Liverpool blink.

Also, FSG executives would never agree to sell any player without fully consulting their manager, Jurgen Klopp. He made it clear the matter was ‘closed’ a week ago, and there has been unity across the board despite the eye-watering figures.

Salah’s valuation would make him a Premier League record transfer, eclipsing the £142 million Liverpool received for Philippe Coutinho in 2018. That is an incredible valuation for a 31-year-old.

The deal would become football’s most expensive transfer, beating the £198 million PSG paid Barcelona for Neymar in 2017.

The Saudis have time to launch their £200 million bid as their transfer window shuts later in September. However, having turned down a bid with the Premier League window still open, there is even less chance of Liverpool reconsidering when they would be unable to spend the money until January.

Salah and his representative have remained silent while the informed speculation about an imminent Saudi offer has built to a crescendo over the past week.

Earlier in the transfer window, Salah’s agent Ramy Abbas Issa announced Salah had no intention of quitting Liverpool this summer. The Egyptian striker gave a typically committed performance in last weekend’s win at Newcastle United.

Given the player’s finely tuned political antennae, the more recent silence gives the impression he has been open-minded to whatever circumstances presented itself in the final days of this window - more than likely awaiting Liverpool’s response to any offer. There can be no doubt about how highly he is still valued by his manager and the club given Friday’s response to the massive bid.

Last year, Liverpool made Salah the highest paid footballer in the club’s history, handing him a £350,000-a-week deal until 2025. That was an acknowledgement of his stellar contribution and the belief he could get close to breaking Liverpool’s goalscoring records during his time at Anfield.