Inter Standout Midfield to Rebuff Potential Saudi Arabia Approach

Inter midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu could reportedly join a small group of European stars to stay immune to the charms of Saudi Arabia’s petrodollars. Today’s print edition of Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInter1908, claims the ex-Milan playmaker has no interest in swapping Europe for the Middle East. 

Al-Hilal’s pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti has hit a standstill. With the Ligue 1 champions reluctant to let their long-serving stalwart leave, the Saudis have identified Calhanoglu as a potential backup option. After selling Marcelo Brozovic to Al-Nassr, Inter must be afraid of the prospect of losing another first-team mainstay.

In addition to Al-Hilal, free-spending Al-Ahli have set their sights on the Inter midfield dynamo. However, the 29-year-old will reportedly resist the temptation to bask in the oil money to pledge his future to Giuseppe Meazza. With the 2023/24 already underway, now would be an awkward time to lose a player of Calhanoglu’s stature.

While Brozovic’s move to Riyadh gave Inter enough time to replace him, it won’t be possible this deep into the transfer window. Davide Frattesi left Sassuolo to link up with Simone Inzaghi’s side. But on the evidence of the opening-day win over Monza, Calhanoglu is still Inzaghi’s first-choice option in the middle of the park.

Calhanoglu pulled the strings in the engine room as Inter eased past Monza 2-0 on Saturday. Given his role in Inzaghi’s setup, there’s no reason for him to think about leaving Meazza anytime soon. 

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