Kevin De Bruyne and Robert Lewandowski REJECTED Saudi Arabia transfers: report
Saudi Pro League clubs reportedly made multiple attempts to sign Kevin De Bruyne and Robert Lewandowski this summer.
The last transfer window saw an unprecedented influx of top talent head to the Gulf kingdom – with Neymar, Karim Benzema and Sadio Mane among the marquee arrivals.
And it’s beginning to feel like there was no star who wasn’t approached by a Saudi outfit over the past few months.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reports that De Bruyne and Lewandowski both turned down offers from Saudi Arabia in favour of staying at Manchester City and Barcelona respectively.
Romano adds that David Alaba was also a target for the Saudi Pro League but that the Austria captain was always set on remaining with Real Madrid.
Despite the plethora of top players taking up lucrative contracts in the Middle East, several have spoken out against the exodus from major European leagues.
They include De Bruyne’s Man City teammate Rodri, who has called for measures to protect European clubs from losing younger talent – such as 21-year-old Spanish prodigy Gabri Veiga – to the Saudi Pro League.
FIFA figures released earlier this week showed that only English clubs spent more than Saudi Pro League outfits on signings from overseas this summer.
Neymar was the most expensive arrival in Saudi Arabia during the transfer window just gone, joining Al Hilal from PSG for £77m, followed by Otavio and Malcolm – who completed £51.5m moves from Porto to Al Nassr and from Zenit Saint Petersburg to Al Hilal respectively.
NEYMAR Brazil superstar reacts to surpassing Pele as country’s all-time leading goalscorer
JORDAN HENDERSON Saudi interview smacked of a player with a bruised ego
QUIZ! Can you name the 50 biggest transfers ever in football?
IN THE MAG Newcastle United, the inside story! Gerard Pique and the Kings League – PLUS Brighton, Rakitic, Merson and more!