By Chris King •
Updated: 04 Aug 2023 • 0:23
Image of the Saudi Pro League logo.
Credit: Saudi Pro League/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, the coach of Manchester City, have both voiced their thoughts on the impact that Saudi Arabia’s lavish spending will have on European football.
However, Manchester United’s Dutch manager Erik ten Hag has dismissed any concerns regarding this matter. He appeared unfazed by the whole situation having already sold off one unwanted player, Alex Telles, to Al Nassr, and really has no fear of losing any of his prized assets.
‘I think in Europe it has an effect because there is some money over there and it will attract players’, the Old Trafford manager offered last week.
‘But I don’t see it in this moment as a problem for the Premier League. Because the Premier League is the league where the big players want to play. That is not in competition with a league like America or Saudi Arabia’, he insisted.
The summer transfer spree by the Saudi Pro League has had a significant impact on the squads of both Liverpool and Manchester City. They have lost multiple key players from their respective squads.
Guardiola’s belief is that: ‘It is not about a threat, it is a reality. They want to create a strong league and so far they are the league that can do it. The Premier League spent more than the others because the organisation is better and the broadcast revenues are higher’.
He added: ‘Right now with the Saudi league, I don’t know how long they will sustain that. But the players want to take this experience and play in that league. Saudi Arabia has changed the market’.
‘A few months ago when Cristiano was the only one to go and no one thought this many top, top players would play in the Saudi league. In the future, there will be more – and that’s why clubs need to be aware of what is happening’, the City stressed, as reported by themirror.co.uk.
In total agreement with the Spaniard, Klopp agreed with Guardiola. He had been asked to comment on his former player Sadio Mane’s move to Al-Nassr from Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
The Senegal international had a nightmare season in Germany and after initially rejecting a lucrative move to the Middle East, finally succumbed.
Klopp commented: ‘Sadio is a very proud man. We will see. The Saudi influence on transfers is massive, it is influential for us but we will have to deal with it’.
While United’s manager was thankful to have Telles taken off his hands, Guardiola said farewell to his influential right-winger Riyad Mahrez, leaving him with a potential dilemma down that side of the pitch now with the new season less than one week away.
The Algeria captain will link up at Al-Ahli with Liverpool legend Roberto Firminho. Klopp also saw his captain Jordan Henderson depart to link up with former Anfield icon Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq. Fan-favourite Fabinho also made the switch, with the Brazilian midfielder signing for Al-Ittihad.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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