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Kessie Swaps Barcelona For Al-Ahli In Saudi Football Revolution


Kessie Swaps Barcelona For Al-Ahli In Saudi Football Revolution


Barcelona has confirmed the transfer of midfielder Franck Kessie to Saudi Pro League club Al-Ahli for a fee of 12.5 million euros ($13.72 million). The 26-year-old Ivory Coast international joined the Catalan giants from AC Milan in 2022 but failed to establish himself as a regular starter under coach Xavi.


Kessie, who has 52 caps for his country and scored 30 goals in 184 appearances for Milan, will join a revamped Al-Ahli squad that has signed several high-profile players from Europe this summer. Al-Ahli have appointed Matthias Jaissle as their new manager after the German was sacked by Red Bull Salzburg despite winning the Austrian league title last season.


Among the new arrival at Al-Ahli are Manchester City winger Riyadh Mahrez, Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Newcastle United forward Alain Saint-Maximin. Al-Ahli has also secured the services of former Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti on loan.


Al-Ahli are one of the four Saudi clubs that have been partially privatized by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns 75 percent of each club, while their respective non-profit foundations own the remaining 25 percent. The other three clubs are Al-Ittihad, Al -Nassr and Al-Hilal.

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