Dozens of European players left their clubs to join the new era in Saudi Arabia, including Manchester City pair Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte. High profile players like Karim Benzema, Neymar, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and Ruben Neves have joined Cristiano Ronaldo in the expanding league, all for high transfer fees and reportedly astronomical wages.
Liverpool star Mo Salah was also the subject of a rejected 150m offer from Al Ittihad, with reports of an improved 200m offer not coming to fruition before Thursday&aposs deadline day in Saudi Arabia.
With so many big names leaving the top European leagues, the Saudi influence on the transfer market is a topic of fraught discussion among players and executives. Now, City midfielder Rodri has called for the likes of UEFA and FIFA to do more to regulate the new influence coming from Saudi.
“Evidently, European football loses with this situation and it is a very particular opinion of the players who decide to go out to these leagues,” Rodri said while on international duty this week.
“It is totally understandable due to the amounts of money they offer. I think its a personal issue for everyone to decide for themselves.
“We Europeans don&apost really like it. It must be controlled in some way this drain of talent because at first it seemed like it was just veterans in the twilight of their careers, but there are young people now who are leaving. They are respectable decisions, but the people who take action must control this situation.”