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Saudi Pro League has made major rule change which could impact Liverpool transfers

Alisson Becker is being linked with a move to Saudi Pro League this summer.
-Credit: (Image: 2023 Getty Images)


The Saudi Pro League had a massive say in last summer's transfer window. The Premier League in particular saw a lot of players leave the English games for the riches on offer from the Middle East Kingdom. Liverpool itself lost two players in the shape of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson while Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane also ended up making the move.

Moreover, in the final days of the transfer window, the league tried to swoop in for a third time and attempt to sign Mohamed Salah with a massive offer, said to be in the region of $191m (£150m/€176m). Liverpool ultimately turned it down and Salah stayed put.

Yet the Egyptian has been continually linked with the move, and this summer could represent another test of Liverpool's resolve.

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A year on, and it appears the Saudi Pro League is shaping up for another major summer, and a law changed in December could have a major impact around Europe.

Previously, teams in the Saudi Pro League could only have a total of eight non-Saudi players in each respective squad. This is now changing to 10 foreigners per squad, meaning teams can sign an extra two players from various leagues. Eight can be registered without an age limit, while a further two can be included,d but must be born in 2003 or after.

The Telegraph reports that Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker and Manchester City's shot-stopper Ederson are two players being targeted by Saudi clubs this summer. Both have long been considered two of the best in the world and losing both would be a blow to both sides.

Despite the influx of stars into the league last summer, attendances at Saudi Pro League games had actually decreased compared to 2022-23. The 2023-24 campaign saw Al-Hilal, featuring the likes of Neymar, Sergej Milinković-Savić, Ruben Neves and Kalidou Koulibaly, win the league by finishing some 14 points clear of Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr.

The average league attendance up until March 2024 was a mere 8,321 fans per game, down around 10 per-cent compared to the year prior. Jordan Henderson lasted all of six months in the league before ripping up his contract and signing for Ajax in the January transfer window.

Champions Al-Hilal's average attendance this season was a respectable 21,834 per game, while Ronaldo's side Al-Nassr is playing in front of an average of 17,821 fans for home games.

Liverpool.com says: It remains to be seen if the likes of Salah, Ederson and Alisson would swap England for Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it's highly doubtful that both Liverpool and Manchester City would agree to let any of the three go, considering their importance to both sides. The Saudi Pro League project hasn't really taken off yet, and the lack of fans only adds to the status of it in comparison to the best European leagues, but the new rules certainly open the door for a greater influx of Saudi riches trying to tempt the biggest stars out to the Middle East.