Starting with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo last winter, Saudi Arabia has been on the rampage with some of Europe’s most powerful clubs. This summer, in addition to former French international Karim Benzema from Real Madrid, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Edouard Mendy have all decided to move to the Middle East.
The Saudi Professional League is also getting a boost with transfers here and there of players in their 20s, including Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves and Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who should still be able to play in the top league.
Former Brazilian international Roberto Firmino, who left Liverpool at the end of last season, also sought a new home in Saudi Arabia and signed a contract with Al Ahli. And it looks like Jordan Henderson as well as Fabinho will have their tentacles extended.
According to The Athletic, Al Ittihad, led by coach Nuno Espirito Santo, who has managed Wolves and Tottenham, is targeting a move for 29-year-old midfielder Fabinho and is preparing to present a formal offer for a transfer fee reportedly worth £40m.
The club, which has added former French duo Benzema and Kante to its ranks, has narrowed its sights on the Brazilian midfielder, who is under contract until 2026, to further reinforce its midfielders.
Liverpool, which has basically refused to respond to any offers, is checking on several targets, including Southampton midfielder Romeo Lavia, and is simultaneously making moves to prepare for any eventuality.
The defensive midfielder will be 30 years old by the end of this year, and a £40m deal would be a highly beneficial one. However, in the ever-inflated world of soccer, there are only so many players who can be reinforced for the same amount of money, and even with Henderson’s combined transfer fee, it is difficult to acquire a top-class player.
If Fabinho were to leave the team as well, the club would like to bring in a midfielder of the same caliber as Ecuadorian midfielder Moises Caicedo, who is nearing a move to Chelsea, and French midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni, who has been forced out of his starting position at Real Madrid.
How will the rapidly evolving transfer saga over Liverpool’s midfield end…?