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Saudi Pro League 'planning raids of Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United'

Saudi Pro League 'planning raids of Liverpool, Man City, Man United'
© Reuters
The Saudi Pro League are reportedly set for another busy summer of spending on Premier League players, after spending £757m last summer.

The Saudi Pro League have reportedly set their sights on another Premier League raid in the upcoming summer transfer window.

After spending £757m on new signings last summer in the Gulf state's attempt to build a world-famous domestic league, another glut of transfers could take place again.

Only the Premier League spent more than the Saudi Pro League last summer, and their figure could have been even higher if Mohamed Salah's rumoured move to Al-Ittihad for £150m went through.

While not getting their hands on the Egyptian, the Saudis were able to prise the likes of Aymeric Laporte, Riyad Mahrez, N'Golo Kante and Roberto Firmino away from the Premier League, and more players could soon follow.

ESPN claims that nine players are already heading a glittering shortlist of transfer targets that Saudi clubs would like to purchase when the window reopens in July.

Top of that list once again is Salah, whose status as the world's most famous Muslim footballer would prove a huge coup for Saudi Arabia.

Approaching his mid-30s, and with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp departing at the end of the season means a move is more likely than it was last summer, especially if the club can still command a nine-figure fee.

In a similar boat is Salah's teammate Virgil van Dijk, another of the names rumoured to be on the shortlist, and like Salah, the Dutch defender also has less than 18 months left on his contract.

After refusing to commit his future to Liverpool in the aftermath of Klopp's announcement, Van Dijk may be another who could depart Anfield in the near future.

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk pictured on January 24, 2024© Reuters

A more left-field shout is Alisson, who arrived in the same time period as Van Dijk and has played a pivotal role in their success under Klopp, as Champions League and Premier League glory followed shortly after his signing from Roma.

While a deal for Alisson would be much more difficult given his younger age and longer contract, the Saudis do not stop there with their audacious efforts of luring the biggest names, as Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne is also said to be of great interest.

A more likely acquisition from Man City would be Bernardo Silva though, as the Portuguese midfielder has flirted with an exit from the Etihad before, and after completing the ultimate feat of a treble last season, he may see that his work is done at the club.

Another realistic signing could be Manchester United's Casemiro, who has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford given his huge salary and dip in form this season.

The Saudis are believed to be looking at Man United captain Bruno Fernandes too, as many players could be allowed to leave in the overhaul that is expected to come in the new Jim Ratcliffe era.

After taking Fulham's key player Aleksandar Mitrovic at the start of the season, the Pro League are rumoured to be keeping tabs on another important asset at Craven Cottage, with Andreas Pereira also on the Saudi shortlist according to the report.

A year on from the start of the Saudi project, discontent from the likes of Jordan Henderson and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic may deter some from making the move, especially those still in the prime of their career, but it is likely that more big names will move to the Middle East this summer.

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