In recent months Saudi Arabia is in football news almost everyday for luring high profile footballers from European football clubs. The trend started in late 2022 when Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League for an estimated €200 million on a 2-1/2 year contract after leaving Manchester United.
Recently Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kanté signed with Saudi Champions Al-Ittihad.
Similar in ambition to the Saudi-financed campaign to dominate golf through the new LIV series, Saudi Arabia’s plan appears to be a centralized effort, supported at the highest levels in Saudi Arabia, and financed by the kingdom’s huge sovereign wealth fund.
Saudi Arabia’s national league is offering some of the highest annual salaries in sports history, with deals potentially requiring over $1 billion for wages for some 20 foreign players.
The country aims to turn its national league into a destination for top talent for players across the globe, fueled by the desire to increase its influence on the sport and boost its profile as one of the bidders for the 2030 World Cup.
In this thread, let’s track the players who have moved and moving to Saudi League.
Also, how are the European football clubs reacting to Saudi Arabia’s attempts to lure their players?
Karim Benzema: “It’s a good league and Cristiano is already here, he is a friend who shows that Saudi Arabia is starting to get ahead.”
Karim Benzema will earn around €600M during his three-year spell in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia plan to spend €20 BILLION in order to attract the biggest names to their league in the next two years.
Al-Ittihad confirm the signing of Karim Benzema on a two-year contract with an option for a third
N’Golo Kanté will join Al Ittihad on a two-year-deal worth over $100M per season, reports @fabriziorom
The president of Al-Ahli is in London to negotiate the potential transfer of Riyad Mahrez to Saudi Arabia.
Al Ahli are willing to offer Riyad Mahrez a contract worth €100 million plus bonuses to leave Manchester City, a source close to negotiations has told ESPN
A delegation including the Saudi Arabia club president Waleed Muaath has been in London this week discussing the possibility of deals with several players including Mahrez.
The Algeria forward has two years remaining on his existing agreement with City but sources have suggested he has become frustrated with a lack of playing time under Pep Guardiola this season.
Luka Modrić has an offer from Saudi Arabia that is three times more than his salary at Real Madrid.
Saudi Arabia want to tempt David De Gea this summer.
They are aware that he has a verbal agreement to stay at Manchester United, but will push for him anyway.
(Source: @FabrizioRomano )
Al-Hilal verbally offered a salary of $20M/year to Romelu Lukaku during a meeting in Paris yesterday.
The Belgian striker is interested but wants a lot more money.
(Source: @Santi_J_FM )
Karim Benzema’s real salary at Al-Ittihad has been revealed!
He will earn nearly €27M-a-year, excluding sponsorship and image rights!
Al-Ahli have sent an official contract proposal to Riyad Mahrez.
Man City will require a fee to let him leave this summer.
Al-Hilal agree to sign Rúben Neves from Wolves for $60M, per Fabrizio Romano
Understand Saudi clubs are now in talks to sign Matt Doherty as free agent after 6 months deal at Atlético Madrid. #transfers
Negotiations are taking place with the former Spurs fullback.
Al-Ittihad are expected to make an initial offer of €60M to Tottenham for Heung-min Son.
The Saudi club have offered a 4-year contract with a salary of €30M-a-year to Son.
Heung-min Son has no interest in a big-money move to Saudi Arabia:
‘I have many things to do in the Premier League—money doesn’t matter to me now’
Official, confirmed. N’Golo Kanté is new Al Ittihad player.
€25m salary per season until 2027 on four year €100m total fixed package — plus commercial deals & image rights.
He will be presented in Saudi in July.
Here we go confirmed
Al-Hilal are lining up an offer of around €47M-a-year to Alvaro Morata!
The Saudi club are also willing to pay almost €24M to Atlético Madrid for the transfer.
(Source: @MailSport )
Callum Hudson-Odoi is the latest Chelsea player to be approached by Saudi Arabian clubs.