Saudi League Now Staging a Coup

The biggest piece of news we are going to deal with in the remaining days of the summer transfer window is that the biggest transfer fees paid in the history of football could come from outside the big five leagues. After years of dealing with top players dumping the big five leagues for China, that had died down and the new kid on the block is Saudi Arabia. Top Saudi sides have made approaches for top footballers in Europe and captured a number of major dealings but this, from the early signs, is not going to stop with the signing of Cristiano, Ronaldo, Karim Benzema among others. The Saudi’s are coming for the crown prince of football, the man thought to be in line to take over from Ronaldo and Lionel Messi; Kylian Mbappé! The Frenchman is no ordinary player. He is already a World Cup winner, and is the France national team captain. This is a big coup the Saudis are staging and it can only get exciting as Mbappé gets up for grabs.

Indicated reservations

Mbappé has not been in the greatest of terms with his club, PSG. All through the summer, the French youngster has indicated his reservations towards signing a new contract with the Paris giants. It seems like just the other day, when news almost broke the internet with PSG announcing that Mbappé had extended his contract, while in Spain, Real Madrid were reportedly waiting on him to reject an extension in France. Well, time flies and the youngster is now in his final year of a contract reported to be paying him in excess of US$2m a week. Earlier in July, it was expected Mbappé would renew his contract with PSG, but the forward has been reluctant and was left out of the team’s preseason activity, signalling he is up for sale. PSG feel betrayed, after handing the player a lot of power at the club. The club feels that he may have already signed a deal to move to Real Madrid for free next summer. His availability has alerted a lot of potential suitors but getting a player of Mbappé’s wages will prove tough for many. Apart from Real Madrid, who haven’t made a bid yet, Chelsea, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Manchester United are said to be following this development.

Top outsider

However, a top outsider, Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia has come in ready to disrupt the European market and while PSG are rumoured to be valuing the striker at US$200m, the Saudi side is ready to pay in excess of US$250m. This, to PSG will sound like a very good deal, firstly, to get a decent figure from the sale of one of the best players in the world currently, but also the additional layer of not selling him to a direct competitor in Europe. It will be interesting to see how rate PSG next season without Mbappé. Such talk is already on, with a former PSG Director of Football indicating the club will be better without the striker. The investment coming from the Saudi league for the best talents in Europe, worrying to the big leagues as it is, is quite welcome for the neutrals. It will have an impact on the television figures and will spread football from areas away from the European leagues. There will definitely be a shift in advertising revenues and interest in the Asian nation. What else can be a bigger coup in the world of football?

More European Football News