Fulham owner Tony Khan has controversially claimed Saudi Arabia have the money to ‘get away with anything, including murder’ as Al-Hilal continue to pursue a move for Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Saudi Arabian outfit have had two bids rejected for the Serbian forward, with their latest offer of £35m being knocked back by Fulham last week.
The Cottagers are reportedly seeking £52m for their star striker, who is believed to be furious at being priced out of a move and has told relatives he will never play for Fulham again.
But Khan is standing firm, and has hit out at Saudi Arabia’s approach to signing players this summer.
‘It’s amazing and I think if you have enough money you can get away with anything, including murder, and try to sign up all the top players in the world,’ he said on The Dan Le Batard Show.
Khan’s statement comes amid concerns about Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, which was labelled ‘atrocious’ by Amnesty International earlier this month.
The organisation called for Steven Gerrard to speak out against the nation’s policies after he was named Al-Ettifaq manager.
Saudi Arabia have attracted a number of global stars in recent months, with Cristiano Ronaldo joining Al-Nassr in December, before his former Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema moved to Al-Ittihad last month.
N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy have also moved to Saudi Arabia, and Mitrovic’s international team-mate Sergej Milinkovic-Savic recently signed for Al-Hilal.
Mitrovic wants to join him, but Khan has insisted he has no intention of selling the 28-year-old.
‘They’ve certainly approached a lot of great players, but we’re committed to keeping our top stars,’ he added.
Mitrovic was Fulham’s top scorer last season, netting 15 goals in all competitions as they finished inside the top half on their return to the Premier League.
This followed on from his record-breaking Championship campaign when he scored 43 goals to steer Fulham to promotion.
These numbers highlight why Fulham are so keen to keep him, but it appears they have plenty of work to do to convince him to stay.
There is also interest in another of Fulham’s standout players from last season – midfielder Joao Palhinha.
Fulham have placed a £60m price-tag on the 28-year-old in a bid to fend off West Ham, as the Irons bid to replace Declan Rice following his £105m move to Arsenal.
Lionel Messi Bought $10.8 Million Home in Fort Lauderdale
Soccer superstar Lionel Messi is raising the sport’s profile not only in Miami but the U.S.—and his purchase of a $10.75 million estate is now drawing curious eyes from around the world to a gated community he now calls home in Fort Lauderdale.
When the 36-year-old forward signed with Inter Miami CF earlier this summer—fresh off his victory during the World Cup in Qatar last year—Messi Mania hit Miami, with stalwart fans and the newly initiated lining up for tickets and merch. Although the real estate market may not go quite as crazy, it’s not immune to the hype, industry experts said.
“A buyer with a massive international following is a magnet for attention, and ever since the news broke that Messi was house hunting in Fort Lauderdale, and then closed on a home in Bay Colony, all eyes have been on the area,” said Chad Carroll with the Carroll Group at Compass. “A new high-profile neighbor like Messi will up the ante for the neighborhood, which is already one of the most exclusive in the city.”
Bay Colony is an island community of about 100 waterfront mansions that attracts boating enthusiasts and those who want maximum security, as it is guard-gated 24 hours a day, Carroll added. The average price for a home in the area is $4.6 million, according to Zillow.
The attention brought to the area by Messi, who purchased the nearly 10,500-square-foot mansion with his wife, model Antonela Roccuzzo, can definitely “create a stronger demand in the community and create a new price benchmark for future sales,” according to Samuel and Donna Simpkin of Compass’s Team Simpkin, who represented Messi and Roccuzzo and are the exclusive real estate agents for the Inter Miami CF.
Barcelona’s salary limit drops massively from €648m to €270m
Barcelona’s new salary limit for this season has been set at €270 million, a huge drop from the €648m limit set in February.
La Liga have told informed all clubs of their salary levels for the next five months, when they will be reviewed again following the close of the January transfer window.
Barca’s new limit is €270m, the third highest in La Liga, behind Real Madrid and Atletico.
Los Blancos lead the way on €727m, while Atletico Madrid’s salary cap has been set at €296m.
Barca have been busy in the summer in a bid to reduce their wage bill. There were a host of outgoings with Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Ousmane Dembele among those players to be shifted off the wage bill.
Incoming players have arrived on free transfers, or for small fees, and have had to take significant wage cuts. Marc-Andre ter Stegen has also taken a downward contract renewal in a bid to help his club during their financial difficulties.
It’s worth noting that Barcelona are still thought to be way over the limit with a current wage bill of around €404m, meaning there’s still a lot of work needed to do on the financial front.
Meet 10 highest paid players in the Premier League
The Premier League is one of the richest leagues in the world and a lot of the star players are on incredibly lucrative contracts.
The likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City are all willing to offer huge pay packets to help convince players to join their clubs.
Using data from Capology, a look at the 10 Premier League players with the highest weekly wage.
Note: All figures mentioned are before tax and do not include the array of bonuses that are included in the fine print of every contract.
- Kai Havertz – £280,000
Havertz spent three years at Chelsea before moving across London and joining Arsenal in a £65millon deal in the summer of 2023.
Alongside the transfer fee, the Gunners also shelled out a significant pay packet as they are giving him a reported £280,000-per-week.
The Germany international is the highest-paid player at the Emirates, earning £15,000-a-week more than teammate Gabriel Jesus.
He has faced some criticism for a slow start to life in north London but still has plenty of time to prove his doubters wrong.
9= Jack Grealish – £300,000
Grealish left boyhood club Aston Villa and completed a £100million move to Manchester City in the summer of 2021.
The England international then got a significant wage increase, going from £125,000-per-week at Villa Park to £300,000-per-week at the Etihad.
He had an underwhelming debut season at City but rediscovered his best form in 2022/23, helping Pep Guardiola’s side win the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.
Alongside his huge wages, the 28-year-old earns £10million a year from Puma and also has a lucrative endorsement contract with fashion house Gucci.
9= Marcus Rashford – £300,00
A Manchester United academy graduate, Rashford earned just £500-a-week when he broke into the first team in February 2016.
The 25-year-old has since developed into one of the best players in the Premier League and his wages have subsequently skyrocketed.
He put pen to paper on a new five-year contract ahead of the 2023/24 season and is now pocketing around £300,000-per-week.
According to The Athletic, Rashford rejected more lucrative proposals from England and abroad to remain at his boyhood club.
9= Bernardo Silva – £300,000
Since arriving from Monaco in the summer of 2017, Silva has helped Manchester City win 14 trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League.
He was heavily linked with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain in 2023 and was also offered a £500,000-a-week contract by Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal.
But the Portugal international rejected that lucrative offer and signed a contract extension with City until the summer of 2026.
The new deal, which reportedly includes a release clause, rewarded Silva for his impressive performances and doubled his £150,000-a-week salary.
- Raheem Sterling – £325,000
After spending seven seasons at Manchester City, Sterling opted for a new challenge and joined Chelsea in a £47.5million deal in 2022.
The winger signed a five-year deal which is worth £325,000-per-week, making him the highest-paid player at Stamford Bridge.
He struggled to justify that huge pay packet during a turbulent debut season, registering just nine goals and four assists across 38 appearances in all competitions.
While a lot of Chelsea players got a pay cut for missing out on the Champions League, Sterling’s wages have reportedly stayed the same.
- Raphael Varane – £340,000
Varane’s move to Manchester United in the summer of 2021 saw his wage packet double after he was reportedly paid £170,000-per-week at Real Madrid.
The 30-year-old arrived at Old Trafford with some serious pedigree, having won three La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and the World Cup.
He’s widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and has forged a promising centre-back partnership with Lisandro Martinez.
But the former France international has struggled to stay fit for prolonged periods and has already missed 35 United matches through injury.
4= Mohamed Salah – £350,000
After months upon months of speculation about a potential Liverpool exit, Salah committed his future to the Reds in 2022 by putting pen to paper on a new three-year contract.
The deal saw his wages go from £200,000-per-week to £350,000-per-week, making him the highest-paid player in the club’s illustrious history.
According to The Athletic, various bonuses written into the contract could see that rise closer to £400,000-per-week.
That still pales in comparison to the £2.45million-a-week wage that Al-Hilal are reportedly willing to offer the Egypt international.
4= Casemiro – £350,000
Casemiro enjoyed a trophy-laden career at Real Madrid, winning five La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey and five Champions Leagues.
The midfielder subsequently raised eyebrows in 2022 when he decided to leave Real and join a Manchester United side that had failed to qualify for the Champions League.
His reported wages of £350,000-a-week led to speculation that he only signed for a massive payday, but the Brazil international insisted that the money was not part of his thinking in accepting the switch.
“Those who think that don’t know me,” he said. “I’m not like that. If it was for money, then I could have left four or five years ago. The club always acted well with me. It was my decision. It was simply the feeling that my cycle here had come to an end. This was clear to me.”
He silenced his critics and had a brilliant debut season at Old Trafford, helping United win the EFL Cup and finish third in the Premier League.
But the 31-year-old has had a difficult start to the 2023/24 season and his £350,000-a-week contract doesn’t expire until 2026.
- Erling Haaland – £375,000
Manchester City won the race for Haaland’s signature in 2022 after triggering the £51.2million release clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract.
Having signed Haaland for around a third of his market value, City agreed to make him one of their highest earners and are paying the 23-year-old a base salary of £375,000-per-week.
The striker is worth every penny as he scored 52 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions during a record-breaking debut season.
According to reports, Haaland’s contract also includes a number of relatively straightforward bonuses which could take his wage up to £865,000-per-week.
- Kevin De Bruyne – £400,000
After Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United contract was terminated by mutual consent in November 2022, De Bruyne took his place as the Premier League’s highest earner.
The Manchester City midfielder last signed a contract extension in April 2021, which took his pay up to the £400,000-per-week mark.
He justified that wage increase by winning the Premier League Player of the Season award in 2021/22 before playing an integral role in City’s treble-winning campaign.
Culled from teamtalk.com
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