Why is the Saudi Pro League signing Premier League talents like Ruben Neves and Edouard Mendy?
Gary Neville may have requested the Premier League to halt player transfers to Saudi Arabia for “integrity” grounds, but there has been little sign of this ceasing in a busy week of transactions.
Wolves captain Ruben Neves, 26, joined Al-Hilal for £47 million on Friday, a record fee for the Molineux club.
And Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is the latest high-profile European player to be linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and N’Golo Kante have all signed – all big players nearing the conclusion of their careers – and there was talk Lionel Messi would as well before moving to the United States.
However, an increasing number of peak-level players are receiving interest, including two additional Chelsea players, Kalidou Koulibaly and Hakim Ziyech, as well as Arsenal’s Thomas Partey.
It emphasizes the league’s goal of becoming one of the top five in the globe.
Former Manchester United and England defender Neville, on the other hand, is wondering what all of this prospective action means.
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, which owns Newcastle United, stated in June that it was taking over four major clubs in the nation, including Al-Nassr, who recruited Ronaldo in December.
Although club officials have denied any direct involvement, it is unclear whether PIF owns an interest in Chelsea’s ultimate owners, the private equity group Clearlake Capital.
“The Premier League should impose an immediate embargo on transfers to Saudi Arabia to protect the game’s integrity,” Neville told BBC Sport earlier this week.
“The appropriateness of the transactions should be checked.”
“Obviously, transfers could open up again if it goes through that process.” But, at this point, I believe transfers should be delayed until you investigate Chelsea’s ownership structure and whether there are any improperly profitable transfer dealings.”