£100m Man City star on £2bn Saudi Pro League shortlist featuring Man Utd trio and Chelsea wantaway

Will Ford
Man City at risk of sale
Kevin De Bruyne is on the Saudi radar.

Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne is among the five to six ‘marquee signings’ being targeted by the Saudi Pro League this summer with £2bn allocated to bring in new players.

Neymar, Sadio Mane, Fabinho and Riyad Mahrez were among the raft of players who swapped Europe for Saudi Arabia last summer, and according to journalist Ben Jacobs, the Saudi powers that be are planning spending big again in the upcoming transfer window to lure further top talent.

Saudi Pro League targets marquee names

De Bruyne, whose City contract expires in 2025, is among the marquee names being targeted despite the Belgium indication providing no indication that he wants to a) leave City or b) move to Saudi.

But the Saudi clubs will once again look to spread their net wide to encourage top players to swap big European leagues for lucricrous wages.

In a series of posts on X, Jacobs wrote: ‘Understand Saudi dealmakers hoping for 5-6 marquee signings this summer. Around £2bn allocated for transfer/agent fees plus wages. Kevin De Bruyne a target but feeling remains he’ll stay/extend at #MCFC. De Bruyne hasn’t indicated he wants Saudi.

‘Manchester City don’t have a number in mind to sell, but Saudi side feel £100m+ with significant bonuses on top will be necessary if they get player buy-in.

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Lukaku, Casemiro, Modric…

‘Dealmakers optimistic on Raphael Varane. Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr have both shown interest. Al-Nassr also still tracking Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Casemiro another Saudi target. Al-Hilal one to watch. Man United have made it clear to Saudi execs multiple players are available.

‘Luka Modrić remains a Saudi target, as does Álvaro Morata. Al-Shabab considered an ambitious Morata swoop in January.

‘Romelu Lukaku was subject of an accepted €45m Al-Hilal bid last summer. Chelsea wanted him to go. Al-Hilal have other options in mind now, but several Saudi clubs still keen. Al-Shabab and soon-to-be promoted Al-Qadsiah (Aramco-owned) have discussed Lukaku internally.

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‘West Ham pair Nayef Aguerd and Kurt Zouma are on Saudi clubs’ radar. Wolves’ Nelson Semedo is another player being tracked.

‘Another approach for Miguel Almiron also can’t be ruled out. Al-Shabab had provisionally agreed a fee close to €30m with Newcastle but Almiron wanted to stay at #NUFC in January

‘There will potentially be another try for Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri. He was approached in 2023. And Rayo keeper Stole Dimitrievski is a 2024 target and open to the Saudi Pro League.

‘However, Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq are not considering Rangers’ James Tavernier despite some suggestions.

‘Saudi clubs can have 10 foreign players next season, but the extra two spots introduced are for players born in 2003 or after. There’s an openness to also loan in top foreign stars with the belief this will draw in specific fanbases following young players from their clubs.’