The Saudi Pro League is setting its sights on a promising future in 2024, building on the momentum of its impactful moves in 2023, where they managed to lure top European soccer stars into their ranks.
As reported by sports broadcaster Ben Jacobs, the Saudi Pro League is plotting to further enhance its star-studded lineup during the upcoming summer transfer window. Among their early targets are Premier League superstars like Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Tottenham’s Heung-min Son, and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah.
🚨🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia are already making plans for the 2024 summer transfer window. Early targets include:
🇧🇪 Kevin De Bruyne
🇰🇷 Heung-min Son
🇪🇬 Mo Salah, if they can’t get him this year
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) September 2, 2023
In 2023, European soccer witnessed a seismic shift as Saudi Pro League teams such as Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad, and Al-Ahli flexed their financial muscle, securing some of the continent’s biggest soccer talents through lucrative deals that were simply irresistible.
These four teams enjoy robust backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), with the PIF holding a substantial 75% stake in each of these clubs. Notably, the Public Investment Fund also boasts ownership of Newcastle United in the Premier League.
During the 2023 transfer frenzy, these teams made headlines by acquiring star players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Aymeric Laporte, Karim Benzema, Neymar Jr., Fabinho, N’golo Kante, Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and many others. An astonishing sum of over $1.35 billion was invested in these acquisitions.
🗣️ Roberto Mancini on Saudi Pro League spending. “The same thing happened in Italy many years ago, lots of big foreign players came to Italy and we improved a lot. It’s good for the Saudi players, and we have enough time to choose our players and we are prepared for that.” pic.twitter.com/5cikYTc07q
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) August 28, 2023
Al-Hilal, in particular, made audacious attempts to secure the services of Kylian Mbappé and Lionel Messi during the summer, although they fell short in those pursuits.
With their sustained commitment to significant financial investments, the Saudi Pro League appears poised to solidify its status as an increasingly attractive destination for European soccer players, similar to what Major League Soccer (MLS) has done over the past 15 years.
Liverpool turned down $188 million for Mohamed Salah on deadline day
The Saudi club Al-Ittihad wants to land one of their biggest targets, Mohamed Salah, in this transfer window As the Saudi league’s deadline day approaches, the club is actively engaged in efforts to secure his services.
On the closing day of the Premier League transfer window, Liverpool faced a jaw-dropping offer from Al-Ittihad: a staggering $188 million for the transfer of Salah. Liverpool, however, chose to decline this mammoth proposition.
Rumors have swirled that the Saudi club intends to return with an even more substantial bid, reportedly totaling $252 million, before the Middle East transfer window shuts on September 7.
Al-Ittihad are willing to offer Mohamed Salah a whopping £1.5m per week in wages. 💰🇸🇦
He is currently Liverpool’s highest paid player in their history on around £350,000 per week. 🔴
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 25, 2023
Salah’s potential departure from Liverpool would indeed come as a surprise, given his agent Ramy Abbas’s recent statement: “If we considered leaving LFC this year, we wouldn’t have renewed the contract last summer. Mohamed remains committed to LFC.”
Salah’s soccer journey is enriched by his deep-rooted Islamic faith. This faith lends significance to Saudi Arabia, home to the sacred Islamic sites of Mecca and Medina. Beyond the religious connection, a move to Saudi Arabia presents enticing financial prospects.
In the context of a player of Salah’s stature, Al-Ittihad is reportedly preparing an unparalleled contract offer. If accepted, this offer could potentially elevate Salah to the status of the highest-paid player in the Saudi Pro League, surpassing even the illustrious Cristiano Ronaldo.