Man City manager Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola warns Premier League clubs ‘Saudi Arabia has changed the market’

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola reckons Saudi Arabia’s massive transfer splurge this summer has changed the face of the transfer market.

Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez recently sealed a move from Man City to Saudi club Al-Ahli, and while Guardiola admits he wanted to keep the four-time Premier League winger, the ‘incredible offer’ the 32-year-old received was too good to turn down.

The Saudi league has attracted a host of household names from the Premier League already this summer, and Guardiola has hinted that the Saudi’s vast financial resources could threaten English football’s position as the biggest league in world football.

‘Riyad got an incredible offer and that’s why we could not say don’t do it,’ Guardiola said, as per the Daily Mail.’

‘Our thoughts were for him to stay here, definitely.

‘A few months ago when Cristiano [Ronaldo] was the only one to go, no one thought this many top, top players would play in the Saudi league. In the future there will be more and that’s why clubs need to be aware of what is happening.

‘Saudi is not about being a threat, it is a reality. They want to create a strong league and so far they are the league who can do it. The Premier League spent more than the others because the organisation is better and the broadcast rights are higher.

‘The Saudi league, I don’t know how long they will sustain that. But the players want to take this experience and play in that league. Saudi Arabia has changed the market.’

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