Five big Saudi transfers to watch out for this summer

Mo Salah, 2023-24, Liverpool

The Saudi Pro League took the football transfer market by storm in the summer of 2023.

Megastars such as Sadio Mane, Neymar, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante headed to Saudi Arabia, following in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo from six months earlier.

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Saudi Arabia’s four biggest teams – all funded by PIF – are Al-Ittihad, Al-Hilal, Al-Ahli and Al-Nassr. They all spent fortunes to lure big-name players to the Middle East.

The January 2024 transfer window was a quieter affair as Saudi clubs kept their powder dry ahead of another big spending spree this coming summer.

But in the summer of 2024, Saudi clubs are set to splash obscene amounts of cash.

We look at five possible European stars who could move to Saudi Arabia this summer.

Mo Salah (Liverpool)

Mo Salah was the subject of some huge offers from the Saudi Pro League during the summer 2023 transfer window.

Al-Ittihad had a massive offer of €175 million rejected by Liverpool in the closing days of the summer.

But it is widely accepted that Al-Ittihad and other Saudi sides will return to make a new bid in 2024.

With Salah’s contract at Anfield expiring in 2025, a transfer is very possible this summer.

Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd)

Bruno Fernandes rejected a massive financial offer during the January transfer window from Al-Hilal.

However, Al-Hilal and potentially others will return with an even more lucrative offer come May.

Bruno Fernandes, Man Utd
© IMAGO – Bruno Fernandes, Man Utd

With Bruno set to turn 30 this year, the chances of a move for Fernandes will increase massively.

United could be open to selling an ageing player, while the midfielder himself may realise this is the last chance of one huge pay day.

With United no closer to challenging for major trophies, Bruno may also have less reason to stay where he is.

Casemiro (Man Utd)

Casemiro will be available for transfer at Man Utd this summer.

The 31-year-old performed well for much of last season and he played a key role in them winning the Carabao Cup.

However, his form has fallen off badly this campaign – coupled with injuries – as Man Utd have had their worst start to a season for over 30 years.

There is strong interest from Saudi Arabia in the ex-Real Madrid legend, and a move to the Kingdom looks very much possible as their teams are the few in world football that can afford his wages.

Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea)

Romelu Lukaku rejected a massive offer from Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2023 in order to join Roma on loan from Chelsea.

It was reported Al-Hilal offered over €50m a season for Lukaku to join them.

However, Saudi teams are expected to return for Lukaku in the summer of 2024 and the player himself has also admitted that he sees himself playing there in the future.

Lukaku’s father Roger has also admitted that he wants his son to move to Saudi Arabia.

With the striker returning to Chelsea at the end of the season and surplus to requirements there, a move to Saudi Arabia is certainly possible.

Thomas Partey (Arsenal)

Arsenal were intent on keeping hold of Thomas Partey last summer, but the way his season has gone has made it clear that they should have cashed in on him.

The 30-year-old has spent a lot of time on the treatment table and when he has been fit, he has been shoehorned into a right-back role.

Saudi clubs were interested last summer and are likely to return for the midfielder this summer.

Arsenal will be open to a sale this time as Partey is injured too often and his contract expires in 2025, meaning this is the last chance for them to make some money back on him.

Source From: Football Transfer News Archive including Premier League & La Liga

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