Kevin De Bruyne and Robert Lewandowski “rejected summer Saudi Arabia approaches.”

Both Robert Lewandowski of Barcelona and playmaker Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City reportedly declined the chance to join the Saudi Pro League in January.

This summer, Al-Hilal, Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, and Al-Nassr—four clubs owned by the Public Investment Fund—spent money on a host of renowned European names who were lured by Middle Eastern riches.

In order to compete in Saudi Arabia, where five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo also makes his living, players like Neymar, Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Fabinho, Sadio Mane, and Gabri Veiga left the Champions League behind.

Jordan Henderson, Demarai Gray, Moussa Dembele, and Georginio Wijnaldum joined Steven Gerrard’s team while Al-Shabab and Al Ettifaq also made some notable additions.

The former brought in Yannick Carrasco and Habib Diallo.

Man City permitted Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte to sign with Al-Nassr and Al-Ahli, respectively, while Barcelona also sent Franck Kessie to the latter team.

The Saudi Pro League reportedly pushed to bring De Bruyne and Lewandowski to the Middle East for the latter stages of their careers, and “several” approaches were made, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

De Bruyne made it clear that he only wanted to stay at Man City, and Lewandowski declined an enormous salary in Saudi Arabia to continue playing for Barcelona.

However, De Bruyne’s most recent contract extension with Man City was in the summer of 2021, and the 32-year-old only has two years left on his current deal before turning 34.

Due to his recent unfortunate luck with injuries—he tore his hamstring severely during June’s Champions League final victory over Inter Milan—it is uncertain whether the treble winners will approve another renewal for the Belgian international.

On the first day of the Premier League season, the former Chelsea player recovered in time to start against Burnley, but he only lasted 23 minutes before aggravating the problem.

He will now be out until January.

Erling Haaland has performed admirably up top in his absence, but De Bruyne is still anticipated to play a significant role for Man City in the second half of the season.

The 32-year-old has made 96 goals and 153 assists in 358 competitive games for Pep Guardiola’s team, and last season, with 18 assists in the top flight, he won his third Premier League Playmaker award.

Lewandowski, who is still playing for Barcelona at the age of 35, has four La Liga appearances this season and has already tallied two goals and one assist.

In addition to scoring five goals in five Champions League games, the Poland international led the league with 23 La Liga goals in 34 games played last season, helping Barcelona win the championship.

Lewandowski’s contract with Barcelona has three more years left on it, and the Blaugrana have the option to extend it until 2027, keeping him at the team until just before his 39th birthday.

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