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Saudi Arabian dealmakers plotting ‘transformative’ signing of Manchester City star akin to Cristiano Ronaldo move

Saudi Arabian dealmakers plotting ‘transformative’ signing of Manchester City star akin to Cristiano Ronaldo move

Officials from Saudi Arabia believe that signing Kevin De Bruyne from Manchester City could be ‘transformative’ for the country.

The 32-year-old threw his Manchester City future into major doubt earlier this week, revealing that he would be “open” to completing a move to the Saudi Pro League, amid recent talks between the midfielder’s representatives and officials from the Middle Eastern league.

De Bruyne, who is out of contract at the Etihad Stadium at the end of next season, has been subject to interest from both Saudi Arabia and the MLS ahead of the summer transfer window, with the opportunity for Manchester City to sell their most senior asset.

The Belgian international has been in east Manchester since 2015, and marked his ninth campaign with the Sky Blues by winning a sixth Premier League title, despite seeing the opening months of the season plagued by a long-term hamstring injury.

De Bruyne is one of four Manchester City players to be linked with a summer move to Saudi Arabia, although San Diego FC in America have also explored the possibility of signing the 32-year-old.

Ederson, Kyle Walker and Matheus Nunes have also been subject to Saudi Arabian interest, with De Bruyne reportedly ‘promised’ a yearly salary in excess of €70 million by clubs Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr.

CBS report that Saudi Arabian officials consider De Bruyne as a ‘transformative’ signing for the league, with the potential for the midfielder to be a ‘marquee’ arrival on par with Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr in December 2022.

Neymar, Sadio Mane and Karim Benzema have also moved to the region, as well as De Bruyne’s former Manchester City teammate’s Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte, who left the Etihad Stadium last summer.

Saudi Arabia are claimed to have an ‘appetite’ to bring De Bruyne to the country, and the midfielder’s recent comments will only strengthen their pursuit of the Belgian’s signature.

Manchester City are also set to offer De Bruyne a new contract, with Etihad officials keen to avoid an exodus in 2025, when manager Pep Guardiola is also out of contract at the club.