Mo Salah, Kevin de Bruyne among EPL stars reportedly eyed by Saudi Pro League

The Saudi Pro League has already taken a few of soccer’s best stars over the last year, and it doesn’t look like it plans to stop anytime soon.

Teams in the Saudi Pro League are eyeing adding several top players from the Premier League, ESPN reported Wednesday. Liverpool’s Mo Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, Manchester United’s Raphaël Varane, Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes plus Fulham’s Andreas Pereira are among the notable stars on Saudi Pro League teams’ radars, according to ESPN.

A few of the teams rumored to be interested in the Premier League stars are Al Ahli, Al Ittihad and Al Nassr, which acquired Cristiano Ronaldo at the start of the 2023 calendar year. Ronaldo was just the first big star to sign with a Saudi Pro League team, agreeing to a 2.5-year deal that pays him $200 million per season. The league added Neymar, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kanté, Roberto Firmino, Sergej Milinković-Savić, Sadio Mané, Riyad Mahrez and Jordan Henderson in the months after Ronaldo’s move.

Saudi teams spent $957 million last season as a result of bringing in those top-flight stars. They aren’t expected to spend as much this summer, but they are still willing to send out tons of money to land Premier League stars, according to ESPN. Coincidentally, only teams from the Premier League spent more in 2023 ($1.39 billion).

Salah and de Bruyne headline the list of possible Premier League stars who could make the jump to the Saudi Pro League as they’ve been two of the best players in English club soccer over the last decade. Saleh has helped Liverpool reach heights it hasn’t seen in decades over his seven seasons with the club, leading the Reds to a Premier League title (2019-20) and a Champions League title (2018-19) as he’s scored 205 goals, the fifth-most in club history. Salah, along with van Dijk, have contracts that expire in 2025 while Alisson is under control through 2027.

De Bruyne, meanwhile, has been a key figure in Manchester City’s dominance over the last nine years. Joining the club in 2015, de Bruyne has helped the Blues win five Premier League titles and a Champions League title, winning the continental treble last season. de Bruyne is under contract through 2025 while teammate Silva is under contract through 2026. 

Of the aforementioned group of Premier League stars, only Varane has a contract that’s set to expire this summer.

Al Hilal, which signed Neymar last offseason but lost the Brazilian striker after three games due to a torn ACL, leads the Saudi Pro League table this season with 59 points. Ronaldo’s Al Nassr is second with 52 points. 


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