According to Emenalo, the Saudi Pro League would be delighted to have Messi join their league.

The director of the Saudi Pro League has stated that any top player, such as Lionel Messi, would be welcomed in the country.

Michael Emenalo, the former Chelsea technical director, took his SPL role in July, heading to the Gulf nation in the same summer as players such as Neymar, Karim Benzema and Riyad Mahrez, who had in turn followed in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, an Al-Nassr signing last December.

In the summer, the league spent approximately £760m, making it the second highest-spending league in football after the Premier League. Emenalo expects a less active January transfer window, but stated that the Saudi Pro League is welcoming any top players who are interested in joining. If there is an opportunity and a well-known superstar expresses interest in playing in this league, we will make every effort to bring them in.

Prior to acquiring Neymar, the 18-time champions Al-Hilal presented a proposal to Messi, but the Argentinian opted to join Inter Miami. Emenalo stated, “I am unsure of the motives behind his decision to join MLS.” He added, “Should he choose to join us next season, we would be delighted to have him. However, if he decides to remain in MLS, we will fully support him.”

There is also no desire to see any of the stars who have moved to Saudi Arabia loaned out to European clubs. Emenalo observed the recent controversy in the Premier League regarding a possible loan move for Rúben Neves from Al-Hilal to Newcastle, who are in the market for a new midfielder after Sandro Tonali was hit with a 10-month ban for betting. Al-Hilal are one of four Saudi Arabian clubs majority-owned by the Public Investment Fund that also owns Newcastle.

Emenalo explained that there have been attempts to link things that are not truly connected. He mentioned that Rúben was previously at Wolves and could have been signed by anyone, but that did not happen. In November, Premier League clubs rejected a temporary ban on related-party loans, but Emenalo recognizes the potential for interest to be shown due to this decision.

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“I believe that the Newcastle football club has the authority to conduct investigations, possibly due to their close proximity to us. We hope that other clubs will also take notice and consider players they are interested in. We have also received interest from clubs in other countries, including the Premier League, for some of our top players. However, we want to make it clear that this information is not made public. We firmly say ‘No’ to any potential transfers.”


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