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Six Premier League transfers the Saudi Pro League will target in summer window

The Premier League and the Saudi Pro League became very familiar with one another in the transfer market last year. 

When the Public Investment Fund, which owns Newcastle United, bought up four of the country’s biggest clubs, the purse strings were loosened and £767 million was spent on new signings from England and around Europe.

The Saudi clubs are unlikely to match that figure this summer, but reports suggest they still have big plans in mind. The Telegraph claim that they have set their sights high, targeting some household names from the Premier League.

Here are some of the star names they are looking to sign – and how realistic or not they are.

Six Premier League transfers targeted by the Saudi Pro League: 

Bruno Fernandes – Man Utd

When Bruno Fernandes said earlier this month that he would only talk about his future after Euro 2024, it fueled speculation that he could leave Manchester United after this season (even if his comments didn’t really indicate anything other than he didn’t want to talk about it in an interview).

Since then he has been linked with Bayern Munich and the Saudi Pro League, for whom signing the midfielder would be a major. It’s a hugely ambitious move – perhaps a touch too ambitious.

Portuguese media reported over a week ago that Fernandes was not interested in a move to Al-Hilal, and it seems unlikely the 29-year-old would want to leave behind top-level European football, let alone Man United, at this stage of his career.

With two years left of his contract, the Red Devils may consider it an ideal time to cash in on their star player, but The Athletic’s David Ornstein claims that he is expected to stay at the club after holding talks last week.

Ten Hag reiterates Bruno Fernandes transfer stance

Ederson – Man City

Speaking of ambitious moves, Ederson is said to be one of the Saudi Pro League’s major targets heading into this summer. It seems highly unlikely Manchester City would allow their starting goalkeeper go this year, unless they receive an astronomical transfer offer they can’t refuse.

Alisson Becker – Liverpool

Similarly, Liverpool will not want to let arguably the best goalkeeper in the world walk out the door despite serious interest from Saudi Arabia. One imagines any bid for Alisson would be immediately rebuffed without a second’s thought, but the Brazilian shot stopper is injury prone and getting on. Maybe there’s a chance he could leave, but it’s a slim one.

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Casemiro – Man Utd

Perhaps the most likely Premier League player to end up on the Arabian Peninsula next season, Casemiro seems destined to leave Man United this summer one way or another.

The Brazilian has seen a dramatic drop off in the level of his performances this term, which has been very clear in his last two outings. Granted, he was playing out of position at centre-back against Crystal Palace and Arsenal, but his lack of awareness and effort was galling.

 

Man United, who paid over £70 million to Real Madrid for him just two years ago, must be thinking of ways to offload him. Al-Nassr, for whom Cristiano Ronaldo plays, may offer the escape hatch they desperately need.

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Kevin De Bruyne – Man City

Given the sensational form of Kevin De Bruyne since returning from injury, it seems unthinkable that Man City would sell arguably their greatest ever players.

But the Belgian dynamo will turn 33 next month and seems to pick up injuries more frequently that keep him out for long periods of time.

De Bruyne and City rejected offers from Saudi last summer, but SPL clubs are said to be “intensifying” their pursuit of the midfielder. Just one year remains on his contract and the club are yet to open negotiations about an extension.

There’s a glimmer of hope there for prospective buyers.

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Mo Salah – Liverpool

Mo Salah was the subject of a massive bid worth up to £150m from Al-Ittihad last summer, but Liverpool rebuffed that offer immediately. Sorry, not for sale.

One year on, there’s a lot of speculation surrounding the Egyptian’s future, ignited by his recent touchline row with outgoing manager Jurgen Klopp. With one year remaining on his bumper contract, it’s only natural that all sides would consider their options.

Liverpool, however, have tried to douse the flames by briefing the media that they do not intend on selling their star player. In fact, they hope he’ll sign a new deal.

SPL clubs are unlikely to offer up as much money as Ittihad did two transfer windows ago and may just wait for his current deal to run out so they can nab him on a free.

Read – Man United duo linked with Saudi moves ahead of transfer window

See Also – The longest ever unbeaten runs from Premier League players

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