The big story of this summer transfer window has been the rise of the Saudi Pro League as a hot destination looking to attract the biggest stars in European football, and with the Saudis, bankrolled by the $620 billion Public Investment Fund (PIF), taking the market by storm, we bring you the latest updates on who is making the move to the kingdom, who is saying “thanks, but no thanks” and who is still mulling it over.

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Done deals

Karim Benzema, FW: Real Madrid to Al-Ittihad (Free Transfer)

The current Ballon d’Or holder got Saudi Arabia’s summer business underway in style, completing a free transfer from 14-time European champions Real Madrid to the two-time Asian champions Al-Ittihad. The 35-year-old French international signed a three-year contract worth $107 million a year.

N’Golo Kante, MF: Chelsea to Al-Ittihad (Free Transfer)

A protracted transfer saga finally came to an end with French midfielder Kante calling an end to his seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge to join his international teammate Benzema at Al-Ittihad on a free transfer. The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner is set to earn $86m per year throughout his four-year deal with the Jeddah-based club.

Ruben Neves, MF: Wolverhampton Wanderers to Al-Hilal ($60m)

Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers are set to receive a club record fee of $60m for the transfer of their captain, Neves, to Al-Hilal. The Portuguese international midfielder has passed his medical ahead of a move to Saudi Arabia and Asia’s most successful club side, and an announcement is expected following the end of the international break.



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Rejected deals

Lionel Messi, FW: PSG to Al-Hilal

With Cristiano Ronaldo already plying his trade at Al-Nassr since January, Saudi Arabia’s hopes of landing his archrival Messi and recreating their rivalry in the Riyadh derby received a blow when the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner turned down a record offer of $400m per year from Al-Hilal, opting instead to join MLS side Inter Miami.

Steven Gerrard, coach, to Al-Ettifaq

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard looked all but set to join Al-Ettifaq. He even paid a visit to the club’s facilities in Dammam and toured the Eastern Saudi city before returning home to announce he will not be signing a contract to coach the Saudi Pro League side as things stand.

Romelu Lukaku, FW: Chelsea to Al-Hilal

Following the end of his loan spell at Inter, Lukaku received an offer from Saudi Arabia but has rejected the approach, instead pushing for a permanent move to the Italian club where he played 25 times last season and scored 10 goals.

Jose Mourinho, coach: AS Roma to Al-Ahli

Mourinho received an offer from Saudi side Al-Ahli, and reportedly met with the club’s president, but the Portuguese coach will remain with Roma for another season after leading them to the Europa League final.

Son Heung-min, FW: Tottenham Hotspur to Al-Ittihad

South Korea captain Son announced his intention to stay at Spurs after he was reported to be the subject of a $65m bid from Saudi Arabian champions Al-Ittihad. The 30-year-old said, “I have many things to do in the Premier League. Money doesn’t matter to me now, and the pride of playing football, to play in my favourite league is important. I want to play more for Tottenham in the Premier League. I’ll prepare well when I’m back to Spurs.”

Luka Modric, MF: Real Madrid to Al-Hilal

The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner rejected a three-year, $218m deal to play in Saudi Arabia and will remain in Madrid for another season. Modric is one of the world’s greatest midfielders, and despite being tempted by the SPL, becomes another big player to turn down a move to the Gulf.



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Talks ongoing

Kalidou Koulibaly, DF: Chelsea to Al-Hilal

After landing Kante, Saudi Arabia’s raid on Stamford Bridge continues as the PIF targets a trio of the Blues’ players. Chelsea are set to cut their losses on Senegalese defender Koulibaly, having paid $42m to bring the 32-year-old from Napoli last summer.

Hakim Ziyech, MF: Chelsea to Al-Nassr

After a stellar World Cup campaign in which he led Morocco to the first semifinal for an African nation, Ziyech looks set for a return to the Middle East, this time to team up with Ronaldo, whom his side had eliminated in the quarterfinals in Qatar. The 30-year-old is set to join Al-Nassr after a less than impressive three-year spell at Chelsea.

Edouard Mendy, GK: Chelsea to Al-Ahli

The Senegalese goalkeeper rounds off the trio of Chelsea players departing to Arabia. The 31-year-old is expected to line up on the opposite side of the Jeddah derby to his former teammate Kante, joining Al-Ahli.

Bernardo Silva, MF: Manchester City to Al-Hilal

Following the move of his international teammate Neves to Al-Hilal, City ace Silva is the subject of a mega offer from the Saudi club. Silva, who shares the same agent with Neves (Jorge Mendes), is wanted by Paris Saint Germain and Barcelona but is yet to make a decision on his future.

Ilkay Gundogan, MF: Manchester City to Al-Hilal

Silva’s club teammate Gundogan has been the subject of several reports linking him to a move to Saudi Arabia, but the UEFA Champions League winning captain is attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal and Barcelona, too.

Saul, MF: Atletico Madrid to Al-Nassr

Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul is considering a move to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr. However, Diego Simeone’s side will demand a significant fee with the Spanish international still under contract until 2026.

Marcelo Brozovic, MF: Inter Milan to Al-Nassr

Al-Nassr are targeting the 30-year-old Croatian midfielder after making an offer of $16m to Inter Milan, who consider the offer too low and are requesting $27m to move talks forward.

Sergio Busquets, MF: Barcelona to Al-Nassr/Al-Hilal

Busquets has been heavily linked to join his former Barca teammate in Miami, but there is also reported interest from Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal, who have offered more money to the 34-year-old.

Wilfried Zaha, FW: Crystal Palace to Al-Nassr

The 30-year-old winger’s contract is set to expire at the end of June, and although Al-Nassr have made a $38m per year offer, reports say that Zaha will reject the move. He has also attracted interest from PSG.

Neymar, FW: PSG to Al-Hilal

The 31-year-old superstar has been injured for most of the season, and reports say that the Brazil international could be on a move away from Paris this summer, with Saudi’s Al-Hilal one of the sides interested in securing the sensation. However, it remains to be seen whether Neymar wants to continue in Europe or make the move elsewhere.

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Saudi Arabia transfer tracker: Done deals and players linked