June 19, 2024

Saudi Arabia considering summer moves for Premier League stars – source

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Saudi Pro League (SPL) teams are targeting a number of Premier League stars ahead of the summer transfer window, a source told ESPN.

Established players like Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Alisson, Raphaël Varane, Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva And Andreas Pereira are all on the program for next season.

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A source has told ESPN that there will also be an effort to sign younger players Juventus' 20-year-old striker Matias Soulè.

Sources in Saudi Arabia do not expect the top teams to reach their record spending of 757 million pounds ($957 million) from 2023, but insist the transfer strategy this summer will be just as aggressive and spending on player fees will be significant.

In the summer of 2023, the SPL's transfer spending was second only to the Premier League's 1.1 billion pounds ($1.39 billion).

Sources told ESPN Al Ahli are looking for a striker, Cristiano Ronaldo'S Al Nassr are interested in signing a goalkeeper and Al Ittihad want to sign a central defender and a central midfielder.

Al Hilal, who signed Neymar out of Paris St Germain last summer are at the top of the SPL table, seven points clear of Al Nassr.

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund (PIF) owns majority stakes in Al Ittihad, Al Ahli, Al Nassr and Al Hilal.

A source has told ESPN that Al Qadisiyah are also expected to spend big in the summer if they gain promotion to the SPL. They are at the top of the second tier and are owned by Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state oil company worth more than $2 trillion.

According to a source, the SPL will also look to attract more high-profile coaches to the country.

Thomas Tuchel, who will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season, FC Portois Sergio Conceicao and is under pressure Chelsea Boss Maurico Pochettino is among the names mentioned as possible candidates.

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