Saudi Pro League Transfers: In recent times, Saudi Arabia has emerged as a formidable force in the global football transfer market, attracting top talent from around the world. While it may not host the extravagant affairs of Lionel Messi conquering MLS, the Gulf nation is charting its own course in the football world, powered by financial prowess. Let’s take a look at the latest Saudi Pro League transfers 2023/24, featuring numerous blockbuster signings in this post.
Saudi Pro League Transfer News
With a whopping $1.025 billion invested in transfer deals, the Saudi Pro League became the second-biggest spender in the summer of 2023, trailing only behind the English Premier League, which splashed nearly $3 billion.
The total spending in the SPL could have been even higher if Liverpool had not rejected the $190 million offer for Mohamed Salah from Al Ittihad. On the summer transfer deadline day in Saudi Arabia, September 7th, Al Ittihad reportedly made a higher bid of around $220 million, but it still failed to persuade Liverpool.
Similarly, Al Ettifaq couldn’t secure the signing of Jadon Sancho on September 7th. Manchester United was willing to loan him out, but they insisted that Al Ettifaq cover his entire salary and then buy the English midfielder for $60 million in the summer of 2024. The club, managed by Steven Gerrard, rejected this proposal. Earlier, Al Hilal had also been unsuccessful in convincing Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe to play in the SPL.
Nevertheless, the Gulf nation continued to attract other star talents during this summer transfer window, following the high-profile move that brought Cristiano Ronaldo to Al Nassr earlier in the year.
Top Saudi Pro League Transfers Clubs In Transfer
Among these signings, Al Hilal flexed their financial muscle the most, with a total outlay of $377 million. This included a record-breaking transfer fee of $98 million for Neymar – one of the PSG most expensive signings. Furthermore, the club secured the services of Ruben Neves (from Wolves), Kalidou Koulibaly (from Chelsea), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (from Lazio), and Malcom (from Zenit St Petersburg).
In second place was Al Ahli, spending over $200 million to bring in Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Riyad Mahrez (Man City), Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle), Roger Ibanez (Roma), Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), and Gabri Veiga (Celta Vigo).
Al Nassr, home to Cristiano Ronaldo, ranked third, with a spending of $176 million to acquire talents like Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic, Aymeric Laporte, Seko Fofana, Alex Telles, and Otavio.
The reigning champions, Al Ittihad, failed to persuade Salah and Sergio Ramos but still brought in Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kanté, Jota, Fabinho, and Luiz Felipe. Al Ettifaq, led by Gerrard, is predicted to face a challenging season as they couldn’t acquire as many star players as their rivals. However, they still managed to sign notable names like Jordan Henderson, Moussa Dembele, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Demarai Gray.
The Saudi Pro League’s significant spending spree has certainly raised eyebrows in the football world, showcasing the league’s ambition to become a global football powerhouse. As the league continues to attract top talents, fans can expect more exciting matches and moments in the seasons to come.
Top 5 famous new signings in SPL
Check out the top 5 blockbuster signings in the Saudi Pro League in this football summer transfer window. As these star players make their mark in Saudi Arabia, fans can expect an even more thrilling and competitive league.
- Sadio mane – €30m (From Bayern to Al-Nassr)
Sadio Mane departed Liverpool as a club legend, having scored 120 goals in fewer than 270 appearances for the Reds. However, his transfer to Bayern Munich did not unfold as expected. Mane was seen as the replacement for Robert Lewandowski, despite rarely playing in the central striker position at Liverpool, and ultimately failed to make the desired impact. Manager Thomas Tuchel publicly criticized the Senegalese forward for a “disappointing season,” and his departure became inevitable. So in the latest Sadio Mane transfer news, he moved to Al-Nassr with a transfer fee of €30m.
- Karim Benzema – Free Transfer (From Real Madrid to Al-Ittihad)
Many were taken aback when Benzema left Real Madrid to join Al-Ittihad as the reigning Ballon d’Or holder. At 35 years old, he remains one of the world’s outstanding strikers. Real had no intention of replacing him, as he still wore the captain’s armband. However, Benzema decided not to renew his contract and made the move to Al-Ittihad. The French star is expected to set many new records in Saudi Arabia’s top football league.
- N’Golo Kante – Free Transfer (From Chelsea to Al-Ittihad)
Kante played a pivotal role in Leicester’s remarkable Premier League title win before becoming a cornerstone of Chelsea’s midfield. With three Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and a World Cup to his name, he stands as one of the greatest central midfielders of all time. Although not at the peak of his form, the French midfielder remains one of the biggest signings of the Saudi Pro League’s summer transfer window with a free N’Golo Kante transfer fee.
- Fabinho – €46.7m (From Liverpool to Al-Ittihad)
Despite being just 29 years old, Fabinho had seen a dip in form during the 2022/23 season, prompting Liverpool to seize the opportunity to sell him to Al-Ittihad for €46.7 million. The Brazilian midfielder played a pivotal role in Liverpool’s success in the 2019 Champions League final and the 2019/20 Premier League season, providing defensive stability in a team filled with attacking talents. He is now expected to help Al-Ittihad maintain their dominance in the Saudi Pro League.
- Neymar – €90m (From PSG to Al-Hilal)
Malcom’s transfer record was shattered by fellow countryman Neymar, who joined Al-Hilal for €90m of Neymar transfer fee from PSG. After a joyful spell at Barcelona, Neymar experienced a turbulent period in France and ultimately fell short of winning the Champions League or the Ballon d’Or, two major goals upon arriving at Parc des Princes. Neymar was once considered the third-best player of the 21st century, following Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. His presence has added tremendous allure to the SPL, making it a highly captivating competition.
In conclusion, Saudi Arabia has become a significant player in the world of football transfers, attracting top talent and generating excitement among fans. As the league continues to grow and evolve, football enthusiasts can look forward to witnessing more thrilling matches with many Saudi Pro League transfer rumours.
Saudi Arabia’s approach to football transfers is unique, as it leverages its financial resources to entice top-tier talent from around the world. While it may not follow the same path as some other leagues, the Saudi Pro League has become a stage where world-class players can continue to shine and contribute to the development of football in the region.
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