Silva has Saudi offer but

Fulham boss Marco Silva with striker Aleksandar Mitrovic
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored 14 Premier League goals for Marco Silva’s Fulham last season

Fulham boss Marco Silva has confirmed he has received an offer to manage in Saudi Arabia – but refused to say whether he has turned it down.

The Portuguese coach was reportedly offered a £40m deal to take charge of Al-Ahli and told reporters an offer had been made.

When pressed on what his answer had been, the 46-year-old would not say.

However he stressed: “My commitment for the club [Fulham] is clear and it will continue.”

He added: “I have shown my commitment to this club last season so many times.

“I will not talk about the situation. I don’t come here to talk about offers and these situations.”

Mitrovic ‘not working properly with team-mates’

The interest from Saudi Arabia is not limited to Silva.

Last week, Fulham rejected a £25m bid from Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal for Serbia striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Mitrovic is keen to move to Saudi Arabia and has so far not played for Fulham in pre-season. Silva confirmed that the 28-year-old would not be part of the team to play Brentford in their first pre-season match in the Premier League Summer Series in Philadelphia on Sunday.

“It is not the ideal scenario, not because he received an offer. It is all the situation about himself,” Silva said.

“As you know, he is not going to play tomorrow, he didn’t play last Wednesday, he is not working properly with his team-mates, and when I say it is not the ideal scenario, this is the situation.”

Interest from other clubs has also been shown in Portuguese midfielder Joao Palhinha. “About the rumours or interest in our players, I think all of you know as well about Joao Palhinha and some of the others that didn’t come out. That is a normal situation,” Silva continued.

“When it came out of my control as a manager, that is something that I would like to have a different scenario.

“I have spoken with Mitro already. He knows my opinion. I am here to give the best for my players, to protect them as I can. Sometimes you have individual decisions that it is for them to take.”

With Mitrovic unavailable, it leaves Silva with tough decisions to make surrounding his squad, and the Fulham boss is frustrated with his club’s dealing in the transfer market as they look to push on from last season’s creditable 10th-place finish in the Premier League.

“For me, I have much more things in my mind that Mitro, believe me,” Silva said. “The situation is just more than one player. We lost seven players from last season.

“The main ones are here and luckily they are still under me but when we lost such a big number of players and we have to prepare a Premier League season and you didn’t sign at least one, at least to make the fans a little bit more happy with the situation, this is the biggest situation for me.

“We want to complete our squad. I would like to build quicker from last season – the great success we had last season – and to prepare well our squad.

“[In] the last two weeks it has been great work for all the players but it is not enough to prepare for a competition like the Premier League.”

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