The competition between Al Hilal and Al Nassr is very complex.
This yin and yang of Saudi Arabian football has ensured that the joy of winning every title goes hand in hand with the feeling of denying the same satisfaction to your great rival.
Don’t be fooled by the fact that Real Madrid versus Barcelona, Boca Juniors versus River Plate, Rangers versus Celtic or Liverpool versus Manchester United have a monopoly on such antipathy. A similar sporty cauldron gushes away in Riyadh.
Enter Alex Teixeira.
The uncapped Brazilian playmaker, coveted by Jürgen Klopp as his first major contract in Liverpool before embarking on a lucrative adventure in China, has been an alleged object of desire for the Saudi Professional League duo since the summer. With such a talented target and supposed opposition for his defamated signature, prudence can be in short supply.
Especially if there is no transfer fee, his bond with shocking Chinese Super League owner Jiangsu Suning is over. There is also strong pressure both fan groups are putting to get a deal.
Every Teixeira Instagram post is flooded with responses from competing Hilal and Nassr supporters.
However, it is imperative that both of them set strict limits on the length they are ready for this battle.
Without clear boundaries, only the player and his representatives can really emerge victorious. A story that is unfortunately still repeated too often in the region.
In such a heated market, conflicting reports are understandable.
The Latin journalist Cesar Luis Merlo explained Nassr made a three year offer worth € 20m + € 5m in bonuses, while Hilal is standing at € 12m over two years.
In contrast, Al Riyadh State has left Hilal demanded because of the inflated financial figures and declares desire to support Luciano Vietto. The Argentine winger has an assist in 582 minutes since Sporting Lisbon’s € 7m move in October, which is often not overwhelming.
This could be a negotiating position or a principle …
With 89 goals scored and 13 major trophies raised at Shakhtar Donetsk from 2010 to 2016, plus a € 50 million fee required to get him to the Far East, the opportunity to acquire such talent for free may arise , prove irresistibly alluring. However, there is little about this supplement that can truly be considered “free”.
Sina Sport reported a weekly wage of € 450,000 in Jiangsu. A searing amount that contradicts the new tax-prudent CSL.
This is not intended to belittle Teixeira. The 30-year-old was the heartbeat of the biggest surprise success story in Asian football in 2020: He scored 10 goals and two assists from 19 offshoots when non-fantasized employers – under ex-Hilal Supreme Commander Cosmin Olaroiu – tried for their first top crown .
However, a thorough compatibility assessment remains of the utmost importance.
Teixeira’s 2020 heat map shows how he does his best job drifting inward from the left wing. SPL boss Hilal already has three players who can play there – Salem Al Dawsari from Saudi Arabia, Vietto and former Italian outsider Sebastian Giovinco.
Move Teixeira to the center and the competition with Giovinco becomes direct.
Could the short-term wobble of winning just one of their last five games in all competitions force an approach on Teixeira that may not be in the club’s best medium- or short-term interests?
Flashbacks from the intense 2018 auction for UAE superstar Omar Abdulrahman remain relevant.
Nassr’s immediate need is more obvious. They are still in the relegation zone despite a 3-2 victory at Al Faisaly after the end of Rui Vitoria’s reign.
Argentina international Pity Martinez has lost $ 18 million since moving from Atlanta United in the summer. Khalid Al Ghannam’s top entry in 2020/21 from the left is a modest two goals and an assist of eight foothills. On the other hand, question marks surround Morocco’s Nordin Amrabat.
An injection of goals from central areas would also be welcomed now if Abderrazak Hamdallah went from 2019 global top scorer to producer of a hit in his final 382 minutes of SPL.
In this scenario, a high price to pay for the attack quality of the elite can feel acceptable. Still, memories of Ahmed Musa’s expensive flop should remain – a measured, non-reactionary decision is a must.
There are also the not insignificant matters of ensuring that no action is taken that would interfere with efforts to obtain a financial literacy certificate from the Saudi Ministry of Sports, while ensuring that anyone who takes over Vitoria on a permanent basis – caretaker Alen Horvat is popular – estimates Teixeira the administration.
A move to Riyadh seems inevitable to the coveted Brazilian. It is much more difficult to determine which sides of the divide to land on, however.
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