Atalanta Announce Merih Demiral’s Transfer to Al-Ahli

It’s been a long time coming. Atalanta announced the sale of Turkish defender Merih Demiral to free-spending Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Ahli on Saturday. It was always a matter of time before the deal became official, and now it is.

Only a year after paying Juventus €20 million to acquire Demiral’s outright transfer following his impressive initial loan in Bergamo, Atalanta wave goodbye to the 25-year-old. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men are well-compensated for letting the ex-Sassuolo man join an ever-growing contingent of European stars moving to Saudi Arabia.

Flush with cash, Al-Ahli barely had a second thought when quoted €20m plus add-ons for Demiral. The Turkey international’s fee has barely scratched the Saudis’ finances following the arrivals of Franck Kessie, Roger Ibanez, Allan Saint-Maximin, Edouard Mendy, Riyad Mahrez, and Roberto Firmino.

But they’ll at least help Atalanta offset some of their massive summer spending. Charles De Ketelaere, El Bilal Toure, Mitchell Bakker, Sead Kolasinac, and Gianluca Scamacca have touched down in Bergamo these past couple of months. Gasperini’s new-look squad will open the 2023/24 Serie A season on Sunday.

Atalanta head to Sassuolo tomorrow evening without Toure, who could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines. The prodigious forward left Almeria to embark on an adventure at the Gewiss Stadium for a club-record €30m fee to replace Rasmus Hojlund.

However, Atalanta fans will have to wait a while longer to see the 21-year-old in action. Toure has suffered a severe tendon injury and could be out for a few months.

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