The Saudis are reportedly going to continue to pursue star players — including Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe:
The Saudi Pro League have no plans to stop their recruitment of world-class players, with sporting director Michael Emenalo name-dropping two huge targets.
The new season kicked off at the weekend and a plethora of marquee signings like Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kanté, Ruben Neves, Riyad Mahrez, Allan Saint-Maximin, Roberto Firmino, Fabinho, Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson, Ruben Neves and Kalidou Koulibaly will all join Cristiano Ronaldo in the division this term. But with wage and transfers budgets seemingly no problem - particularly for clubs backed by the PIF - the SPL have ambitions to continue to attract the very best players to the league.
Emenalo, who previously worked for Chelsea and Monaco, is tasked with bringing in the cream of the crop in the inaugural role.
And he has identified Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane as two key recruits as he bids to create “a league for exceptional players only.”
Mbappe was the subject of a world-record £259 million bid from Al Hilal, who were prepared to pay him an eye-watering £1.65 million per day.
However, the Frenchman turned down the offer and looks set to stay put at PSG in a surprising twist. Kane, meanwhile, has finally left Spurs and signed a four-year deal with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
“I would love to have Kylian Mbappe here,” he told the National News. “I would love to have Harry Kane here. The league would like to have all the top players. And I think it will be at the heart of this whole particular strategy: it is that, in a couple of years, in a few short years, this will become a league for exceptional players only.
“It will become a league only for those who at the top of their game because we have only 18 clubs and the space for just eight international players [at each club]. And, yes, we have resources and we’re going to use those resources to make sure, once we build up infrastructure, that the only players here are the ones at the top of their game.”
Former Bayern Munich defender Juan Bernat could find his way back to the Bundesliga as both Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen have expressed interest in the Paris Saint-Germain 30-year-old:
Will former Bayern defender Juan Bernat return to the Bundesliga? As reported by the French newspaper L’Équipe, Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen have expressed their interest in lending the 30-year-old.
Although Bernat is contractually bound to his current employer Paris Saint-Germain until 2025, he is on the cross-off list there. In the summer of 2018, the Spaniard switched from Munich to PSG after winning the German championship four times with FC Bayern.
However, Union is about to sign Robin Gosens. It is questionable whether the Köpenickers would then upgrade again for the left side. The situation in Leverkusen is different.
Two left-backs left the club this summer in Mitchel Bakker (Atalanta Bergamo) and Daley Sinkgraven (Las Palmas). In return, Bayer only brought Alejandro Grimaldo from Benfica on board, so a squad place would still be free.
Bernat is best remembered by Bundesliga fans for the legendary anger press conference by Uli Hoeneß , who slandered the full-back and said he “played shit” in a Champions League game in Seville in 2018.
The final days here have been a whirlwind of “will he” or “won’t he” stories that eventually all faded away. Barring a last minute collapse, Kane should be making his way to Germany for a physical and could be presented at the DFL-Supercup — if things go to plan.
All that said, there was plenty to talk about, so let’s dig in:
- Why I am crushing a crow sandwich.
- Recapping the craziness that occurred on Thursday August 10th as news was flowing from everywhere about Kane’s potential move.
- How Kane will fit and why Thomas Tuchel’s biggest job is to ensure this move is a success. Also, some thoughts on what happens if Tuchel can’t make the team mesh quickly.
- What else Bayern Munich might be looking at in the transfer market and why some of the perceived needs probably are exactly requirements.
FC Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has been linked to a move away from the club for over two years now, but still remains at Camp Nou. Apparently, it will take a lot (of cash and frustration) to get the Dutchman to agree to a move away:
Frenkie de Jong: “Barça is the club of my life. I want to spend my whole life here, I never wanted to leave despite financial situation of the club last summer”— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 13, 2023
“I’ve always been a Barça fan since I was a kid. This is my dreams club”, Frenkie told El Periodico. pic.twitter.com/6IMkMUYqLr
Kai Havertz likely had the chance to take his career back to Germany this summer, but instead opted to move from Chelsea FC to Arsenal FC. As an outside observer, though, the 24-year-old is excited to see Kane with Bayern Munich.
“I mean for German football it’s a statement a player like this goes to the league,” Havertz told Viaplay Fotball. “You know, I wish him the best. He deserves that because he had brilliant years in England, so I wish him all the best.”
A few days ago it looked like USMNT star Tyler Adams was headed to Chelsea FC
Bournemouth have followed Chelsea in triggering Tyler Adams’ release clause for £20m #AFCB— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 14, 2023
Club now optimistic to get deal done as player is keen on the move at this stage.
Chelsea left negotiations for Adams as they wanted to sign Caicedo and Lavia. pic.twitter.com/1RjBPmhlk9
Well that could have gone better. Embarrassing doesn’t begin to describe what we saw as Bayern Munich succumbed 3-0 to RB Leipzig in this year’s edition of the DFL Supercup. Thomas Tuchel was at a loss to explain why his team is playing such horrible football, so us here at BPW decided to do it for him. Spoiler alert: It’s the coach.
In this episode, INNN and Samrin discuss the following:
- Why did Benjamin Pavard, who wants to leave Bayern Munich, start this game?
- Can you even blame the players when the tactics are this bad?
- How Thomas Tuchel is completely neutering Jamal Musiala.
- What is going on with the midfield? Why is Joshua Kimmich playing so badly?
- In defense of Mathys Tel and the chances he missed.
- Can Harry Kane and/or Thomas Muller really fix this?
- Why this loss hurts more than usual from a marketing/exposure perspective.
- Harry Kane is an amazing transfer, but he could bomb because of a bad start.
- Extremely worrying signs from Thomas Tuchel in the post match presser.
- Is it time for Bayern to sack Tuchel? What options are available as replacements?
- Could any new transfers fix this team?
- Closing out with the goalkeeper issue — is Sven Ulreich good enough? Will Manuel Neuer ever come back?
- Was it a mistake to let Yann Sommer go? Should Bayern Munich have kept him?
Real Madrid midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni has been linked to Bayern Munich, but he likely is not going anywhere this summer.
Liverpool FC is said to want the 23-year-old as well, but Los Blancos have big plans for Tchouaméni:
Liverpool among a number of leading clubs who have long-term admiration for Aurelien Tchouameni but Real Madrid see 23yo France int’l as key player & would not consider his departure, while midfielder has no interest in leaving #RMFC @TheAthleticFC #LFC https://t.co/wh65pkJIcw— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) August 14, 2023
West Ham could pull out of negotiations to sign Harry Maguire from Manchester United as the deal is taking considerable time to complete. The two clubs agreed terms on a £30m fee last week but progress in finalising the transfer has been slow.
We had heard that things were pretty much done for Renato Sanches’ move from Paris Saint-Germain to AS Roma, but now we know that the former Bayern Munich midfielder was in Rome for his medical:
Renato Sanches and Leandro Paredes, both in Roma today in order to undergo medical tests as new AS Roma players. Deal completed. #ASRoma— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 15, 2023
Paredes joins on permanent move for €4m — Sanches on €1m loan with €15m buy clause, mandatory if he’s gonna play 60% of the games. pic.twitter.com/DDOiJ4Ygt2