Premier League make FIFA transfer demand after Klopp's blast at Saudi spending

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Premier League make FIFA transfer demand after Klopp
Premier League make FIFA transfer demand after Klopp's blast at Saudi spending

Premier League clubs are keen to lobby FIFA to change the Saudi Pro League's transfer deadline, it has been claimed.

This season's summer window in the Gulf state ends on September 7, a few days later than its Premier League equivalent. This means players with English side could be coaxed to Saudi Arabia without their English clubs being able to dip into the market to replace them.

A host of players have left the Premier League for the Saudi Pro League already this summer. England international Jordan Henderson is among the highest profile, with Ruben Neves and N'Golo Kante two of the others to make the switch.

According to The Mail, Premier League sides do not expect to be able to put a change in place for this season, though the subject is expected to arise at the next shareholders' meeting. The Premier League window shuts nearly a week before its Saudi equivalent on September 1.

Earlier reports had suggested the Saudi window would stay open even longer, until September 20. It is not quite that large a discrepancy, with the same report noting that it was brought forward by the Saudi FA, but the six-day gap is still an issue.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is among those to have spoken out about the discrepancy. The German has seen three members of last season's squad move to Saudi Arabia, with Roberto Firmino and Fabinho joining former Reds captain Henderson in doing so.

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"It is massive, in the moment," Klopp said of the spending from Saudi clubs. "Pretty much the worst thing I think is that the transfer window in Saudi Arabia is open three weeks longer.

"If I am right, I heard something like that, then at least in Europe that's not helpful. UEFA or FIFA must find solutions for that. But in the end, at this moment, I don't know exactly what will happen.

"It is already influential, for us, for sure. We will have to learn to deal with it, and that's what we do. That's pretty much all I can say about it, time will show."

Premier League clubs aren't the only European sides to have lost players to the Saudi Pro League this summer. Karim Benzema has joined Al Ittihad from Real Madrid and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has traded Lazio for Al-Hilal, among others.

There was also a world record bid from Al-Hilal for Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe. The French champions accepted the offer, but Mbappe was not receptive to a move despite reports of sky-high wages on offer were he to leave Europe this summer.

Tom Victor

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