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UEFA President Fires Strong Transfer Warning to Saudi Arabia After Ronaldo, Benzema Deals
- UEFA President Ceferin has criticised Saudi Arabian football
- He has labelled their transfer strategy as 'largely misguided'
- The Saudi League has lured in many stars with lucrative deals
Aleksander Ceferin, the President of UEFA, has taken steps to downplay concerns over the potential threat Saudi Arabia's spending power poses to the prominent European clubs.
The recent attention-grabbing transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo during the mid-season was just one among numerous high-profile moves to the Saudi Pro League.
Ronaldo's move to Al-Nassr will see his team face formidable competition in the upcoming season, with Karim Benzema also announcing his departure from Real Madrid to join Al-Ittihad.
The trend continues as Al-Hilal edges closer to securing the services of Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder, Ruben Neves.
Nevertheless, Ceferin remains skeptical about an immediate exodus of players and has expressed doubts regarding the approach of these financially dominant teams.
Speaking to NOS on the possibility of a mass exodus, as reported by 90Min, Ceferin said:
"No, no, no... I think that it's mainly a mistake for Saudi Arabian football."
Drawing parallels with China, he proposed that substantial spending should be redirected towards the development of academies, highlighting the importance of long-term investments in nurturing young talent.
"Why is that a problem for them? Because they should invest in academies, they should bring coaches and develop their own players."
"The system of buying the players that almost ended their career is not the system that develops football. It was a similar mistake in China when they all brought players who are at the end of their career."
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Sports Brief looks at six current players in the Blues first team who could be set to join the Saudi Pro League next season, including N’golo Kante.
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Chelsea could benefit from Saudi Arabia in offloading out-of-favour stars as they begin a mass exodus to reduce their bloated squad this summer.
Co-owner, Todd Boehly was in the Gulf state recently to meet the Saudi Public Investment Funds, with which Clearlake has a good relationship.