Calhanoglu Passed on Chance to Transfer to Saudi Arabia

Inter lost a linchpin to the petrodollars last summer, Marcelo Brozovic, and Saudi Arabia targeted another one, Hakan Calhanoglu, but he turned down the courtship. In particular, Al-Ahli pursued the Turk, which was in the hunt for a quality midfielder after landing Franck Kessié, Fabrizio Romano reports (via SOSFanta).

The same side wound up signing Gabri Veiga from Celta Vigo late in the summer. They upset Napoli’s apple cart, as the Partenopei had been chasing after the Spaniard for a few weeks.

Unlike many other players, Calhanoglu never provided an opening to the transfer to Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the parties didn’t get to the point where they started negotiating his salary. It would have predictably been a lot higher than his current one.

The former Milan star is under contract with Inter until 2027. He penned a multi-year extension in July. Instead, his former teammate was on a short-term deal, which facilitated his departure. He has posted 15 goals and 22 assists in 105 appearances since crossing the Navigli canal.

Our Take on Calhanoglu and Saudi Arabia

Brozovic leaving sneakily solved a problem for the Nerazzurri. The cohabitation between the two playmakers for an entire campaign would have been a little awkward; plus, their midfield would have lacked a bit of dynamism when they featured together.

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