Transfer focus on Saudi as Gray leaves Everton, Carrasco moves from Athletico and chase for Salah intensifies

September 8 – With the European transfer deadline over, this week focus has been on the heavily-funded Saudi Pro League to complete their deals ahead of their transfer deadline Thursday evening.

Already completed this week, 27-year-old Everton winger Demarai Gray has finalised a transfer to Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq for a fee €9.3 million, becoming the second English player to join the Saudi club behind new teammate and captain Jordan Henderson.

It was reported that the player, who enjoyed a fruitful 2-year spell at Everton scoring 12 goals, was unsettled at the Merseyside club, publicly expressing his frustration towards manager Sean Dyche on Instagram in a post that read: “Everton fans have always been great with me but it’s so difficult to play for someone who doesn’t show you respect as a person.”

Gray, who won the Premier League with Leicester in 2016, and who made his debut for Jamaica in the Gold Cup this summer, joins on a 4-year deal.

Atletico Madrid and Belgium winger Yannick Carrasco has joined Al-Shabab for a bargain €15 million as the second significant transfer of the week, joining the club on a four-year deal. The 30-year-old has enjoyed a successful career at Atletico Madrid, joining the club in 2015.

He briefly joined Chinese side Dalian Yifang in 2018, but made a move back to Madrid less than two years later after laws changed regarding the Chinese Super League’s wage caps.

Carrasco was an important player for Atleti last season, contributing to 10 goal involvements in 35 games from the left side of midfield.

Al-Ittihad are still pursuing a move for Liverpool attacker Mohammed Salah, despite the Merseyside club’s staunch refusal of every offer thus far.

They are reportedly now mounting an offer in the region of £200 million in an effort to prise Salah away from Merseyside. But with no opportunity to sign a replacement for such an important player, Liverpool are expected to remain uninterested.

As arguably the biggest Arab name in the history of the sport, it is clear why the club are in such hot pursuit of the Egyptian superstar. The contract offered to the 31-year-old reportedly dwarfs his current deal, which sits around £350,000 per week, and would make him the highest-paid player in the SPL.

Thirty-two miles east of Anfield, fallout between Manchester United star Jadon Sancho and manager Erik Ten Hag has piqued the interest of Saudi parties looking to snap up the talented winger.

Reports indicate that the player was upset with comments made by Ten Hag suggesting that Sancho wasn’t training well and hadn’t earned a place in United’s matchday squad against Arsenal at the weekend.

The 23-year-old publicly refuted these claims, stating that he ‘trained very well’. Reports from the club also suggest that the player was becoming increasingly unpopular with his teammates, which the argument with Ten Hag has catalysed.

The situation has left fans wondering if the player will ever play for the club again, and a move to Saudi Arabia may be the best option for his career.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1721801936labto1721801936ofdlr1721801936owedi1721801936sni@g1721801936niwe.1721801936yrrah1721801936


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