Chelsea defender Koulibaly joins Neves at Al Hilal


Kalidou Koulibaly of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions Round of 16, 1st leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea at Signal Iduna Park on February 15, 2023 in Dortmund, Germany.

Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly has joined Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal from Premier League side Chelsea, the two clubs announced on Sunday.

“We’ll continue to make history together,” Al Hilal said on Twitter, alongside a short video featuring Koulibaly.

The four-time Asian Champions League winners said Koulibaly’s contract would run until 2026 without giving any financial details. British media reported that the Saudi club would pay around £17 million ($21.61m) for the centre-back.

“I’m here with those who make the glory in the present and the future,” the Africa Cup of Nations winner said.

Koulibaly, 32, scored two goals in 32 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea after joining them from Napoli last July.

He is the second player moving to Al Hilal from the Premier League after Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves signed from Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday.

The Saudi Pro League has become attractive to Europe-based players since Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al Nassr in January.

League champions Al Ittihad signed Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema earlier this month, while the club has also confirmed that former Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is joining them.

Al Hilal are the most decorated club in Saudi Arabia and Asia, having won 66 trophies, and they hold the record for league and Asian Champions titles with 18 and four, respectively.

Boosting their squad is a priority for the Riyadh-based club; they have lost their league and Asian Champions crowns.

Spanish media report that they are also keen to secure the services of Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva.

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