“I got an amazing offer, and I couldn’t say no.”
The Saudi league is a popular place for superstars to finish their careers. The level of play is better than ever and the paychecks are huge.
The league has benefited from the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, and in recent years has seen the likes of Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Leo Neves, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Édouard Mendy.
Even former Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez was on the Saudi radar.스포츠토토
Mahrez is considered a technician, with excellent footwork and touch. After joining City from Leicester City, he made his presence felt as a key resource.
However, he was reportedly unhappy with his playing time the previous season, leading to transfer speculation.
In particular, he was reportedly unhappy that he didn’t play a minute in the FA Cup against Manchester United and the Champions League final against Inter Milan last season.
In the meantime, Saudi Arabia’s Al Ahli moved to sign Mahrez and confirmed the deal on Aug. 28.
Al Ahli have signed Mahrez on a four-year contract, reportedly offering him an annual wage bill in excess of $41 billion.
City manager Pep Guardiola was left bitter. Asked if he wanted Mahrez to stay, he said: “Of course. I enjoyed working with him, it was a special relationship,” he said.
“Saudi Arabia has changed the transfer market. When Ronaldo left, no one thought that so many top players would join. There will be more in the future and we have to be ready for it.”
“Saudi Arabia wants to create a strong league and they can do it,” he added.
As for Mahrez’s departure, he expressed disappointment. “We had a good offer,” Guardiola said. That’s why I couldn’t ask him to stay at City instead of leaving,” he sighed.