Report: Saudi clubs plotting more ambitious moves for EPL stars

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    The Saudi Pro League could welcome up to 10 high-profile signings this summer – and England appears to be a popular shopping destination for the competition’s spendthrift clubs, sources told The Telegraph’s Jason Burt.

    Saudi interest in Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne was already widely reported. However, Pro League clubs are also reportedly working on ambitious moves for Manchester United duo Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes, and the first-choice goalkeepers at Liverpool and Manchester City, Alisson and Ederson.

    Casemiro’s representatives have already held talks with Pro League clubs, Burt understands, with Riyadh-based Al-Nassr – who already have Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, and Aymeric Laporte in an expensively assembled squad – appearing to be the likeliest destination for the midfielder.

    United’s head of player negotiations, Matt Hargreaves, twice traveled to Saudi Arabia with former football director John Murtough to discuss potential deals. Hargreaves will be part of the refreshed Manchester United setup under co-owner Jim Ratcliffe and has helped forge relationships with Pro League outfits, most notably Al-Ittihad, Burt reports.

    Despite these new links in Saudi Arabia, a Pro League club striking a deal for Fernandes could be difficult. Manchester United would consider a huge offer for their captain, but Ratcliffe’s team has identified the Portuguese playmaker as a key figure in the squad who’s sorely missed when unavailable.

    Moves for Brazilian goalkeepers Alisson and Ederson could be similarly tricky given their respective importance to their current clubs.

    The Saudi Pro League spent £767 million on transfers last year – putting it second only to the Premier League – and has developed a reputation for paying over the odds for well-known players as it tries to become one of the biggest leagues in the world.

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