Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke believes that Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe will not move to the Saudi Pro League after a world record bid was made for him last week.

Mbappe has been kept out of PSG’s pre-season squad after telling the club that he would not be staying beyond the end of his contract in 2024. He now awaits confirmation as to what is next after turning down wages of £604million ($754million) to join Al-Hilal.

The Saudi Arabian side are one of the richest clubs in the world after new investment in the league from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) allowed sides to offer some of Europe’s best players lucrative deals. Having so far failed with their attempts to land Mbappe, it is reported that they will now turn their attention towards Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

Kroenke, who has conducted his own impressive business at Arsenal this summer with transfers for Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice for £197million ($250.3million) in total, has opened up on the impact that the influx of money into the Saudi football project has had so far.

Hosting NBA star Kevin Durant and sector professionals in sports, media, entertainment and music, USA-based TV channel and website CNBC put on what is described as an ‘all-new, high-powered event’ focused on what drives the world.

“I’ve had Middle Eastern people of prominence involved in teams ask me, and I like them by the way, they’re great guys,” Kroenke said at the Game Plan Summit event in Los Angeles.

Manchester City are great people but they just do things differently because they have a whole lot of money and they’ve asked me, ‘do you think we could ever run our leagues over here like you do in the US?’

“They think about it, that’s an outlier, I understand that [Kylian] Mbappe is not wanting to do that, I doubt that he will.”

In collaboration with Boardroom, the CNBC summit included some of the biggest names in America and allowed Kroenke the platform to take his stance on the Saudi rise in sport after making waves in golf with plans involving boxing and tennis as well.

“Maybe I should be concerned but I’m not terribly concerned by it,” Kroenke said. “I’ve been around in these leagues so long. It’s not as easy as you think. It’s hard.

They can actually help, there’s a lot of ways they can help. I’m sure in other business, the guys at NBC and Sky would say, ‘how do we stop the pirating in the Middle East? Those signals, we ought to be paid for it, right?’ There’s a tonne of that that’s going on. If they had an interest, they would get very interested now, that would probably help us out.”

The American businessman has had great success in recent years with LA Rams, 2021 Super Bowl champions in NFL, and Denver Nuggets as they became NBA winners for the first time in history.

His son, Josh, is now a key figure at Arsenal and his increased role within the club and next to sporting director Edu Gaspar has helped transform the atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium.


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