In an attempt to boost the Saudi Pro League’s attraction to the world, Saudi Arabian clubs continue to pursue big names from the soccer world. Ballon d’Or winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema have all been drawn into the middle-east already, and after failing to lure Lionel Messi, Manchester City’s Champions League winning winger Riyad Mahrez seems to be the next target.
Al Ahli offers Riyad Mahrez a gigantic deal
According to reports, several Al-Ahli officials, including chairman Waleed Muath, have been in London to discuss potential transfers involving multiple players, with Mahrez being one of them. In an effort to lure the Algerian away from Manchester City, Al-Ahli is reportedly prepared to offer him $100 million plus bonuses.
Understand Al Ahli have submitted an official contract bid to Riyad Mahrez — negotiations are underway on player side. Al Ittihad are not in the race now, it’s Al Ahli on it. 🚨🔵🇸🇦 #MCFC
Manchester City would require a fee to let Mahrez leave. Talks expected to continue soon. pic.twitter.com/PrVcRAFTYL
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 14, 2023
The 32-year-old winger has two more years left on his contract at the Etihad after recently winning the treble with City. He was an unused substitute in City’s 1-0 triumph over Inter Milan in the Champions League final.
The deal will involve $50 million in salary per season with bonuses for two years, with an option to extend it to a third year.
The 32-year-old Algerian winger joined Manchester City from Leicester City in 2018 after a 4-year-stint with the Foxes. He was a key performer for Leicester City’s heroic Premier League winning team in the 2015-16 season. With City, Mahrez has won every major trophy there is to win: four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, three League Cups, and one Champions League.
Other European Superstars are being pursued as well
Five times Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo has already spent half-a-season in the Middle East. The Portuguese forward joined Al-Nassr at the beginning of this year, after his contract with Manchester United was terminated.
A couple of weeks earlier, Al-Hilal offered a massive deal worth $600 million to Lionel Messi. The move failed to materialize, however, as he decided to join MLS club Inter Miami instead.
More recently, Real Madrid’s veteran forward Karim Benzema was unveiled to join Al-Ittihad, and Chelsea midfielder N’golo Kante is on the verge of joining him, according to rumors. In addition, Al-Ahli and Al-Shabab are also reportedly interested in signing Chelsea forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
With this many stars involved, who knows? The Saudi Pro League could well become the next big thing in the soccer world!