Saudi Arabia’s oil money is shaking up the world of soccer, and it has reached out to Son Heung-min (Tottenham).
On the 20th (KST), ESPN reported that ‘Al Ittihad is preparing a €60 million (about $84 billion) transfer fee and bonuses to sign Tottenham’s Son Heung-min’. The salary is even more staggering. A whopping €30 million (about $42 billion) per year. Son Heung-min currently earns close to £10 million a year. In Korean money, that’s about 16 billion won, which is almost three times as much. According to ESPN, the contract is for four years. That’s a minimum offer of 252 billion won for Son Heung-min.메이저사이트
Al Ahli has been on a roll lately, attracting big stars. Al Ittihad were the Saudi champions last season. The club has made a surprise move for Real Madrid’s key striker and defending Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema. “It’s always exciting to experience new football in a different country,” said Benzema, who signed a three-year, €200 million deal on July 7. “Al Ahli has an incredible history and passion for the game. Al Ittihad is a club with an incredible history and passionate fans. “It’s a great league and there are a lot of good players in Saudi Arabia. Cristiano Ronaldo plays there. I will try to win the title, just like I did in Europe.”
The departure of top midfielder N’Golo Kante is also imminent. Romano announced on his Twitter account on the 19th that “Kante is moving to Al Ittihad. The negotiations that started on the 6th of this month have been finalized and we will announce it soon. The deal is a bargain: €100 million a year for four years, plus image and commercial rights.
Saudi Arabia appears to be the new El Dorado of world soccer. It started with Cristiano Ronaldo. After being kicked out of Manchester United, Ronaldo shocked the world in January by donning an Al Nasr jersey. It was a huge deal, worth €200 million a year. Following Benzema’s move to Al Ittihad, Sergio Ramos, Hugo Llorente, Luka Modric, Roberto Levandowski, and Pierre Aubameyang are among the players who have received offers from the Saudis, or are in the process of doing so.
The kingdom, which is bidding to host the 2030 World Cup, has been focusing on “growing the game,” recently winning the right to host the 2023 Club World Cup, which will be followed by the 2027 Asian Cup. The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund (PIF) bought English Premier League side Newcastle United and is stocked with stars. Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, dubbed “Mr. Everything,” wants to raise the kingdom’s international profile through sports.
The Saudis offered an astronomical €400 million to sign Lionel Messi. Messi ultimately chose to join Inter Miami in the United States after much deliberation. While some have criticized the move as “sportswashing” to wash away the image of a human rights abuser, it’s hard to resist Saudi Arabia’s astronomical “oil money”. The PIF, which is already headed by Crown Prince Salman, holds a 75% stake in Al Nasr, Al Hilal, Al Ittihad, and Al Ahli, giving it direct influence over player signings. This will give it the leeway to make more investments in the future.
Son Heung-min is also on the radar. Son Heung-min is one of Asia’s biggest stars who needs no introduction. He was the top scorer in the English Premier League in the 2021-2022 season. He was the first Asian to do so. After a bit of a slump last season, he scored his 100th goal in the EPL on March 8 against Brighton. He is now the 34th player to score 100+ goals in the EPL, the 14th non-English player, and the first Asian player to do so. In the midst of a down season, Heung-min scored double-digit goals for the seventh consecutive season, a feat that not even Cristiano Ronaldo has accomplished, reaffirming his status as one of the EPL’s top strikers. Only 11 players in EPL history have scored double-digit goals in seven consecutive seasons.
This isn’t the first report of Son Heung-min heading to Saudi Arabia. On July 7, CBS Sports in the United States declared that a move to Saudi Arabia was highly likely. “If Tottenham can cash in on Son Heung-min, they will,” CBS Sports said, adding that “a number of high-profile players have been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia, and Son Heung-min is no exception. The reports of Son Heung-min heading to Saudi Arabia paradoxically show that he is world class. The Saudis have focused on players who are in their twilight years and don’t require a transfer fee, and Son is one of those players who does. He is contracted to Tottenham until the summer of 2025. He’s a player you’d be willing to pay a transfer fee for. As the best player in Asia, it would be a big deal for the Saudis.
However, Son’s move to Saudi Arabia will not be easy. His current club, Tottenham, is not interested. Spurs are in the midst of a rebuilding process after the appointment of manager Enzi Postecoglou. While Harry Kane’s future is up in the air, Son will be a key part of Spurs’ attack next season. With Postecoglou’s understanding of the Asian player, it’s likely he’ll be even more important. Tottenham finished the season with 18 wins, 6 draws, and 14 losses, and 60 points. They finished eighth. In the EPL this season, seventh place in the league was enough to qualify for the Europa Conference League (UECL), but they couldn’t get over the final threshold. Aston Villa’s 2-1 win over Brighton in the final game of the season left them in seventh place with 61 points. Tottenham failed to qualify for the UECL, their final pride after the UCL and Europa League. It’s been 13 years since the 2009-2010 season that Spurs missed out on European competition.
Despite the hefty transfer fee, it’s unlikely Tottenham will let Son go. Tottenham’s commercial value is also important. If he’s looking to make a leap forward next season, it’s unlikely he’ll opt for Saudi Arabia. He is a player who values honor as much as money. ESPN reports that a formal bid is expected