While the Premier League transfer market shut last week, sides in Saudi Arabia are still able to complete transfers.
It’s an issue that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken out against this summer, and although it has created uncertainty at clubs, the Saudi window staying open later means top-flight sides in England might still be able to cash in on any unwanted players.
Erik ten Hag may be particularly interested in that, as there are several Manchester United players in his squad that he had hoped to sell earlier this summer. Here’s everything you need to know about the Saudi transfer window.
When does the Saudi Arabian transfer window shut?
Clubs in the Saudi Pro League can sign players up until 7 September, something the league organisers confirmed after Fifa had initially listed a different date.
Which United players could still go?
Eric Bailly is one player who attracted attention from the Arab State earlier this summer, but didn’t manage to complete a move away. There was interest from Europe on transfer deadline day, but no concrete offer emerged. The Ivory Coast international has been all but frozen out by Ten Hag, who would happily sell the player if an offer emerged from Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Donny van de Beek was close to leaving during Friday’s deadline day, but several interested parties couldn’t complete a deal in time. United’s no.34 hasn’t attracted any real interest from Saudi Arabia this summer, but with limited options in the market, clubs from the Middle East may decide to strike.
Anthony Martial is another player who has alerted the attention of Saudi clubs, although no genuine offers emerged this summer. Ten Hag had been willing to move him on during the window, but with limited resources in the attacking areas, the United boss may now be reluctant to sell the forward. Jadon Sancho has also angered Ten Hag in recent days with his social media post, but it’s unlikely the 23-year-old will depart this week.
Who has moved to the Saudi Pro League?
This summer has seen an abundance of stars moving from European football to the Saudi Pro League. Aymeric Laporte and Sadio Mane joined Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr, while Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante and Fabinho moved to Al-Ittihad. Al-Hilal signed a host of players, including Kalidou Kouilbaly, Riyad Mahrez, Roberto Firmino and Neymar, although the most controversial switch was that of Jordan Henderson, who linked up with Steven Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq.
Are there any ongoing transfer sagas?
Al-Ittihad are still hoping to sign Mohamed Salah for a world-record fee, while Everton’s Demarai Gray released a statement via social media after the Toffee’s reportedly blocked his move to Al-Ettifaq. Georginio Wijnaldum and Yannick Carrasco arrived after the European windows had shut, but Sergio Ramos is reportedly set to join Sevilla rather than accept a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia.
Are any other transfer windows still open?
There are several transfer windows in Europe that run in September this year. The Belgian market doesn’t shut until Wednesday, with Greece’s open until 11 September. But it’s the Turkish window that is creating the most headlines, and it’s active until 15 September. Davinson Sanchez and Tanguy Ndombele are reportedly on the verge of completing deals to Galatasaray, in another example of how English sides can benefit from later windows abroad.