Man City Transfer News: Portuguese star latest to be linked to Saudi

Man City Transfer News: Portuguese star latest to be linked to Saudi

It was perhaps inevitable at some point in football, but the Saudi Arabia world takeover project has commenced sooner than expected, and one Man City star could now join the revolution.

Cristiano Ronaldo was the first big name to make the switch when he joined Al Nassr from Manchester United in January, with his former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema following him out there by moving to Al Ittihad at the beginning of this month. 

The France striker will be joined at Al Ittihad by compatriot N’Golo Kante, another move that was essentially completed earlier in June.

Since then, the transfers to Saudi Arabia are seemingly continuing at a rapid rate, with Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves recently agreeing a €55m (£47m) transfer to Al Hilal.

Ronaldo’s Al Nassr meanwhile are in talks with Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech and Real Betis midfielder William Carvalho, and they could be joined in the Saudi league by the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Kalidou Koulibaly among many others.

Man City ace wanted

Man City midfielder Bernardo Silva is the next big-name player to be linked with a switch to the Saudi Pro League (SPL), with the Portugal international receiving a lucrative offer to make the move out there, according to The Athletic.

Talks have taken place with Silva’s representative Jorge Mendes, with financial numbers also being discussed, but it remains unclear if the approach has developed into a formal bid.

Despite the huge financial incentives available, it is believed that Silva will turn down the opportunity, although the Man City star is considering all of his options at this moment in time.

SPL growing in stature

It seems that times have changed somewhat from the high-profile transfers to the Chinese Super League not so long ago, with the SPL looking like the new destination for players wanting a mega payday.

Major League Soccer (MLS) has always been an option, with that competition now growing in stature, particularly after Lionel Messi left PSG for Inter Miami.

The SPL could, however, dominate things for many years to come, with the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Sport announcing earlier this month that the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) will take control of four teams in the Saudi Pro League.

Involved in that deal are Al Ahli, Al Ittihad, Al Hilal and Al Nassr, and they have already made countless headlines by luring top-class talent there in recent weeks.

Man City

Superb season for Man City star

Silva played a key role as Pep Guardiola’s Man City won the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League, with his contract at the Etihad running until 2025.

But European supergiants Barcelona and PSG are both reportedly keen on his signature, with both showing an interest alongside a club in the SPL.

And one of either PSG or Barcelona looks set to get their way, with Silva reportedly wanting to stay in Europe as opposed to making the trip to Saudi.

The Portugal international made 55 appearances for Man City in all competitions this season, registering totals of seven goals and eight assists.

He could, of course, remain in Manchester, but his future is uncertain at this moment in time, in what is a crucial stage of the 28-year-old’s career.

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!