Fabinho’s proposed move to Al Hilal could be in jeopardy, but not because of his pet dogs

FOOTBALL Fabinho’s proposed move to Al Hilal could be in jeopardy, but not because of his pet dogs

Mark Kinyanjui 19:03 - 25.07.2023

The Brazilian has returned to the club's AXA training ground having missed their pre-season tour to Germany.

Al Ittihad’s proposed bid for Liverpool’s Fabinho is in jeopardy with the midfielder set to resume pre-season training with the six-time European Champions. 

This is according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, who reports that the 29-year-old midfielder was targeted in a £40 million (Ksh 6 billion) deal — and all parties remain committed to getting it done if possible.

It had been rumored that the deal could be scuppered by an apparent rule in Saudi Arabia banning the breed of dogs Fabinho owns, but those rumors have been quashed by Ornstein.

Negotiations and conversations are continuing, with Al Ittihad’s desire to sign him remaining undiminished.

But there has been a delay to the process and, things stand, Fabinho is set to resume pre-season preparations with Liverpool on Wednesday.

The Brazil international was left out of manager Jurgen Klopp’s squad for a summer training camp in Germany because of the proposed move.

Fabinho is back at Liverpool and will rejoin his teammates at the AXA Training Centre, unless a breakthrough can be made in advance.

The player — under contract until 2026 — is said to have behaved impeccably throughout and the strong links his representative Jorge Mendes has to Liverpool and Saudi make it conceivable that the switch still happens despite this stall.

Liverpool are also set to lose captain Jordan Henderson to Al Ettifaq and have been exploring a number of potential midfield options.

The Merseyside club, meanwhile, have been interested in Crystal Palace’s Cheick Doucoure, as well as Southampton’s Romeo Lavia, Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat, Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch and Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips.

Liverpool’s midfield is already undergoing a considerable refresh this summer, with Alexis Mac Allister signed from Brighton and Dominik Szoboszlai arriving from RB Leipzig.

James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left at the end of their contracts in June while Fabio Carvalho has joined RB Leipzig on a season-long loan.

Fabinho was once again a key player for Jurgen Klopp last season making 49 appearances in all competitions.

Al Ittihad have already signed N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema and Celtic’s Jota.