Liverpool have left midfielder Fabinho out of their pre-season squad heading to Germany, suggesting that his move to Saudi Arabia is now close.
The 29-year-old Brazilian has been linked with a move to Al Hilal in recent days, with £4om rumoured to be enough to get their man.
It is a saga that has seemingly come from nowhere, with Fabinho admittedly poor last season, but still being viewed as an important squad player moving forward.
With Liverpool travelling to Germany for some pre-season action ahead of the new campaign, however, a fresh update has emerged regarding his future.
Taking to Twitter, journalist Fabrizio Romano confirmed that Fabinho has been omitted from the Reds’ squad going to Germany, paving the way for his Anfield exit:
“BREAKING: Fabinho will NOT travel to Germany with Liverpool squad as talks with Al Ittihad are now advanced — with personal terms agreed. Jordan Henderson will travel with the squad as he already agreed terms with Al Ettifaq but clubs are not close to agremeent on fee.”
Our thoughts on Fabinho’s imminent Liverpool exit…
To see Fabinho depart Liverpool this summer will be sad, and further suggest that we have reached the end of an era, in terms of Jurgen Klopp’s great Champions League and Premier League-winning team dispersing and a new side being created.
The likes of James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have already departed, while captain Jordan Henderson also looks likely to head to Saudi Arabia.
Fabinho’s decline over the past 12 months or so has been dramatic – his performances were nowhere near good enough last season, with a complete lack of legs on show that suggested his best days were simply behind him.
For Liverpool to potentially earn £40m for Fabinho has to be considered excellent business, given the manner in which he has dropped off in such a short space of time, and it is vital that they sign a perfect replacement who can master the No.6 role for many years to come.
Romeo Lavia and Manu Kone are certainly two young options who stand out, with the pair impressing for Southampton and Borussia Monchengladbach last season respectively, although signing both could be needed, assuming Henderson moves on as well.