Six Barcelona players still on the radar of Saudi clubs – report


Barcelona's Brazilian forward #11 Raphinha celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between FC Barcelona and Paris SG at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on April 16, 2024.
Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has positioned itself as a highly lucrative destination for top-class footballers. Massive investments in football in the Middle Eastern kingdom have attracted some of Europe’s best players, including Ronaldo, Neymar, Benzema, and Mane, to the Saudi League.

After signing Franck Kessié last summer, Saudi clubs also attempted to lure several FC Barcelona players to their league, including Robert Lewandowski, Sergi Roberto and Raphinha.

As Mundo Deportivo has reported, the Saudis are still trying to lure up to six players associated with Barcelona to their own country, but for now, none of them is too excited to leave the Catalan club. These players are:

1: Jules Kounde

The French defender is the latest Barcelona player to be linked with a Saudi club, as Al-Ittihad, with Ramon Planes as their Sporting Director, is interested in signing him. However, the defender himself is happy at the Blaugrana club, and the club also sees him as an integral part of their defense.

2: Raphinha

The Saudis have long tried to attract the winger to their league, but Raphinha rejected a move to Arabia last summer. Now, one of the biggest clubs in the country is again trying to acquire his services by offering up to €100 million to Barcelona and doubling his salary.

However, the winger will find it difficult to leave Barcelona, as he and his family are very well settled at the Catalan club and in the city.

3: Marc Andre Ter Stegen

The German goalkeeper has also been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia for some time now, and El-Ittihad is expected to once again pursue him this summer. However, he has a contract till 2028 with Barcelona and intends to stay on the Catalan side for now.

4: Robert Lewandowski

After having unsuccessfully tried to sign him last summer, the Saudis are still not giving up on having one of the top strikers in their league. They are ready to offer him exorbitant wages, but the Pole is still not considering an exit from Barcelona despite having only one year left on his contract.

5: Clement Lenglet

The French defender who is set to rejoin Barcelona this summer after his loan at Aston Villa, refused a move to Saudi Arabia last summer. This summer, the Saudis are once again keeping an eye on his situation, but the defender wants to continue playing in Europe for now.

6: Joao Felix

The Portuguese forward rejected a move to Saudi Arabia as he selected Barcelona as his destination for a loan last summer. Now, with his loan ending, and him being highly unlikely to stay at Atletico Madrid, he can join a Saudi side if he is unable to stay at FC Barcelona.

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