By Jinhyeok Ban= After the European transfer window closes, players should be discouraged from heading to the Saudi Arabian league.
The Saudi Arabian league is a popular destination for superstars to finish their careers. The level of play is better than ever and the paychecks are huge.
Al Nasr started with the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. He had a superstar effect and opened the eyes of other players.
As if in competition, clubs in the Saudi Arabian league rolled up their sleeves and started building their superstar squads.
Al Ittahad led the way. They signed Karim Benzema, a former Real Madrid goalkeeper.
More recently, Neymar joined the ranks of oil money when he left Paris Saint-Germain for Al Hilal after parting ways with Lee Kang-in.
The English Premier League (EPL) is no stranger to Saudi Arabia’s oil money raids.
N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino, Leo Neves, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Riyad Mahrez, and many others have left the EPL and fallen prey to the lure of oil money.
Here’s a former EPL top scorer. Son Heung-min was also targeted.
Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad reportedly prepared a four-year contract with a €60 million ($94 billion) transfer fee and a €30 million ($42 billion) annual salary to sign Son.
However, Son has ruled out a move to Saudi Arabia and is determined to stay in the EPL.
“I’m not ready to go to the Saudi Arabian league yet. I like the EPL. I still have a lot of work to do,” he said, denying the transfer rumors.
“I once heard (Ki) Sung-yong say that he wouldn’t go to China as a national team captain. It’s better to play in your favorite league than for money,” he said.
When Son Heung-min fell through, Mohamed Salah was approached.
Al Ittihad said they would give him the best possible deal. They are willing to pay him a salary similar to that of Ronaldo and Neymar.
Neymar left Paris Saint-Germain for Al-Hilal for a salary reportedly in the neighborhood of $220 million.
Al Ittihad continued to sway Liverpool in their pursuit of Salah. They offered a staggering transfer fee of over 300 million.
Liverpool legend Graeme Souness told the Express: “The owner of Liverpool is the same as the owner of Manchester United. He’s a cold-blooded businessman,” he said, adding that he couldn’t help but think about money.
“Salah is 31 years old. The transfer fee set by Al Ittihad is a lot of money. I don’t think it will be worth it next year. If he gets injured, he won’t be worth the amount that is being discussed,” he said, predicting that Liverpool’s owners will paddle when the water comes in.
However, Liverpool resisted Al Ittihad’s temptation and held out until the Saudi Arabian league transfer window closed.
There have been calls for a raid on the oil money Saudi Arabian league.
“If the Saudi league is paying huge wages that the world’s biggest clubs can’t afford, it will inevitably hurt the economies of other leagues,” said former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan.
“We need to start setting some rules, and an easy one would be to prevent EPL clubs from doing business with the Saudi league after the European transfer window closes. With an increasingly globalized society and upcoming changes, we need to prepare for the future.”
Meanwhile, Son Heung-min, who has remained in the EPL, is still showing off his class.
With Harry Kane out for the season, the South Korean is playing a role in a team that needs a striker.
In the fourth-round tie against Burnley, Heung-min started up front and scored the equalizer in the 16th minute after Tottenham had conceded a goal and were 1-0 down, with a sensational chip shot after seeing the goalkeeper come out and clear the area following a passing play with Manor Solomon.
Then came Son’s show. In the 19th minute of the second half, after receiving a pass from Solomon, Heung-min surged forward and scored his team’s fourth goal and his second of the season with a direct shot.
Son wasn’t done scoring. In the 22nd minute of the second half, he found space behind the Burnley defense and found the back of the net again after receiving a pass from Foro. It was his first hat-trick of the season.
It was the fourth hat-trick of his career. After Southampton (2020/21), Aston Villa (2021/22), and Leicester City (2022/23), this is the fourth time he has scored against Burnley this season.
Son’s recent ratings have been good. Tottenham are in the mood to push for a contract extension. They are reportedly looking to extend his deal until June 2025.
According to Paul O’Keefe, a source familiar with the Tottenham situation, Spurs have held informal talks with Son to push for a contract extension.
Tottenham’s potential move to extend Son’s contract has been welcomed.
“I’d be shocked if Son isn’t offered a new deal, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be,” said Alasdair Gold, a dedicated Tottenham journalist for British outlet Football London.카지노
Spurs fan site Spurs Web wrote: “Tottenham don’t usually offer long-term contracts to players over the age of 30. However, Son Heung-min is an exception. He looks like he will continue to perform at the highest level for many years to come,” and welcomed the potential extension.
Paul Brown, a journalist for Give Me Sports, also believes Son will extend his contract with Tottenham.
“He’s the captain of Tottenham and I think he’s happier than anyone else. He’s taking it to heart. He’s got unbelievable respect beyond the squad and among the wider fan base,” Brown said, referring to his presence.
“I don’t see any reason for him to leave Tottenham. Tottenham love him, too. He will sign a new contract. I think he will stay for a while.”
SOURCES Getty Images, SCORE90, Bleacher Report, Clutch Point, barlebofc, onefootball, Football Daily, Tottenham Insight