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Meet the billionaires behind Al-Hilal’s world record £259m bid for Mbappe



PSG have accepted a world record £259 million transfer fee from Al-Hilal for wantaway striker Kylian Mbappe.

The French giants are desperate for a sale this year to avoid Mbappe leaving Parc des Princes as a free agent next summer, and as such they have granted Al-Hilal permission to speak with the player.

However, the 24 year-old is said to be uninterested in a move to the Saudi Pro League and his preference is to hold out for Real Madrid in 2024.

Along with the transfer fee, the Saudi side have also reportedly offered Mbappe a jaw-dropping £604 million in wages for just a single season with the club.

So, who exactly are the owners behind the Al-Hilal mega-money offer and which players have they signed so far during the summer 2023 transfer window?

Here is everything you need to know.

Who owns Al-Hilal?
Al Hilal is under shared ownership, with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) the majority owner with a 75% share.

The remaining 25% is controlled by the Al Hilal Non-Profit Foundation.

The PIV is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, and with total estimated assets of around £320 billion, it is one of the largest in the world.

It was set up in 1971 to invest money on behalf of the government, and has been controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, since 2015.

The PIF is playing a crucial part in Saudi’s strategy, named Vision 2030, to diversify the nation’s economy away from its dependence on oil.

The sovereign wealth fund bought Newcastle United for £300 million in October 2021, acquiring an 80% stake in the Premier League side with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan installed as the club’s chairman.

As well as taking control of Al-Hilal in June, the PIF also took a 75% stake in three of the other biggest teams in the Kingdom as it attempts to turbo boost the profile of the league; Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli and Al-Nassr.

Al-Hilal are the most decorated team in Asia, with 66 official honours to their name, including a record eight AFC Champions League titles.

Which players have Al-Hilal signed so far?
Ruben Neves ended his six-year stay at Wolves with a £47 million move to the club in June.

Aged just 26, the Portuguese midfielder’s transfer represented the first time that a player deemed to be in his prime has moved to the Saudi Pro League.

Neves is joined at Al-Hilal by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who swapped Champions League football with Lazio to move to the Middle East in a £34 million deal.

The hugely talented midfielder, 28, had been regularly linked with some of the biggest names in European football over the past few seasons.

Kalidou Koulibaly also now plys his trade in Riyadh following his £17 million move from Chelsea, where he spent a sole season having only signed from Napoli last year.

The squad also contains former West Brom player Matheus Pereira and ex-Porto striker Moussa Marega, although the duo are not currently registered to play.

Former Benfica and Sporting winger Andre Carrillo has been with Al-Hilal since 2018.

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Tottenham have Harry Kane buyback clause, Daniel Levy confirms




Daniel Levy has confirmed that Tottenham have a buyback clause in Harry Kane’s Bayern Munich contract. The chairman was asked at a Spurs’ fans’ forum on Tuesday night whether the clause existed. “Of course,” he replied. Levy did not offer any detail.

Kane moved to Bayern in August for an initial fee of £100m and Spurs said in a statement that he was “always welcome back … he’s a much-loved and valued member of the Spurs family, for ever in our history.”

Related: FC Hollywood make Kane the star in perfect script for Manchester United

The 30-year-old is focused on his new life at Bayern, where he is under contract until 2027, and it is impossible to say how he might feel about one day returning to play for Spurs. When his transfer to Bayern was all-but agreed, he was told to stay away from the Spurs training ground, meaning there would be no face-to-face goodbyes or the chance to personally collect his belongings. His family could not access their box at the stadium.

Spurs have started the season well, with four wins and a draw from five Premier League games and Kane was asked about them as he prepared for Bayern’s Champions League tie against Manchester United on Wednesday night.

“They’ve had a fantastic start,” he said. “I’m always keeping an eye on them and I’ll keep an eye on Tottenham for the rest of my life. I’m really happy to see the team playing the way they are and to see the fans happy is a great thing. I’m sure they’ll be keen to keep that up. They’ve got a massive game coming up [at Arsenal on Sunday], so for sure I’ll see how they get on over the course of the season.”

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Man United ‘to revive Frenkie de Jong interest next year’




Manchester United will reportedly make another attempt to sign Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong in 2024.

The Netherlands international was heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford during Erik ten Hag’s first transfer window as Red Devils head coach little over one year ago.

Man United are believed to have come to an agreement with Barcelona over a price, but the midfielder made it clear on multiple occasions that he did not want to leave Camp Nou.

The Red Devils boosted their midfield over the summer with the signings of Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat, with the latter widely expected to join on a permanent basis from Fiorentina next year.

However, the club are likely to be in the market for another big-money player in that position 2024, and according to Fichajes, De Jong remains very much a leading transfer target for the 20-time English champions.

De Jong has been a vital player for Barcelona at the start of this season, scoring once in six appearances, and he played 58 minutes of Tuesday’s 5-0 success over Royal Antwerp in the Champions League.

The 26-year-old has another three years left to run on his contract at Camp Nou but has revealed that discussions over a renewal are ongoing.

“My contract renewal? My agent is taking care of that, but I’m happy here,” transfer expert Fabrizio Romano quotes the midfielder as saying.

Romano claims that De Jong is desperate to stay at Camp Nou, but any new deal would almost certainly come with a salary reduction due to the Catalan outfit’s financial problems.

Man United allegedly still believe that they can convince De Jong to make the move to Old Trafford, although a lot could depend on how the season unfolds for the Red Devils.

Ten Hag’s side have lost three of their first five Premier League matches of the season, and they are currently in Germany preparing for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

Barcelona, though, have won each of their last five matches in all competitions, including their Champions League opener at home to Antwerp.

“We’ve started well, I’m happy. We have a very good squad, players with a lot of talent and if we work well and do what we have to do, we can fight for big objectives,” De Jong said after the European success.

The Dutchman has made 189 appearances for Barcelona since arriving from Ajax in the summer of 2019, scoring 16 goals and registering 21 assists in the process.

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Louis van Gaal’s stance on taking over as Germany boss revealed




Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is keen to become the new manager of the Germany national team, according to reports.

Van Gaal has been out of work since his third stint in charge of the Netherlands, standing down from the role after his nation’s exit at the World Cup in Qatar.

The Dutchman spent two years at Old Trafford between 2014 and 2016 and was famous for his memorable quotes, funny antics and witty behaviour which grabbed headlines and turned him into somewhat of an internet meme.

Van Gaal went viral for thinking Chris Smalling’s name was ‘Mike’ during a press conference while sat next to the player, telling his squad to ‘get horny’ and his iconic dive in front of fourth official Mike Dean on the touchline during a game.

The 72-year-old, who won the FA Cup during his spell at United, is plotting a return to management and it is reported that he is ‘ready to take over’ from Hansi Flick, who was sacked by the German Football Association (DFB) on Sunday.

The DFB are thought to be considering a number of names and former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann – linked to managerial roles at Chelsea and Tottenham this summer – is believed to be the current top candidate.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, meanwhile, is the DFB’s dream choice to replace Flick as they look to secure a new head coach before the country hosts Euro 2024.

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