Exclusive: Aston Villa, Nott’m Forest launch moves for Saudi Pro League ace desperate for European transfer

Al-Hilal right-back Saud Abdulhamid

Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest are looking for a new right-back and TEAMtalk can reveal the Premier League pair have made approaches to the agent of Al-Hilal’s Saud Abdulhamid.

The right-back of the Saudi Arabian champions is considered among the strongest full-backs in Asia and is attracting the attention of several European clubs.

The first team to move in recent weeks was French side Toulouse who, after informing the Saudi club they had commenced conversations with the player’s agent, also spoke with Al-Hilal to understand the negotiation margins.

From Al-Hilal’s perspective, the club that broke the record for the most consecutive victories in football history (34) is open to letting Abdulhamid leave this summer.

Chief among the reasons they’ve adopted that stance is because the right-back’s contract expires in 2025. Talks over a possible renewal are not yet in the hot stage.

Furthermore, the 36-cap Saudi international – who will turn 25 next month – feels the time is right to take the next step in his career and move to Europe. Moving to a big European league would realise a dream he has held since he was a child.

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Aston Villa, Nott’m Forest make their moves

After Toulouse, now Olympique Marseille – who are finalising Roberto De Zerbi’s arrival as their new manager – Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest have also made concrete moves with his agent and have also made contact with Al-Hilal for a possible transfer.

To date, there is nothing advanced and no agreement has been signed. However, a new round of contacts are expected with both Premier League clubs as early as next week.

Abdulhamid is a mainstay in his national side’s starting elevens at right-back and is among the finest homegrown stars currently in the Saudi Pro League.

Abdulhamid featured 51 times for Al-Hilal last season, notching four goals and providing nine assists to compliment his solid defensive displays.

Al-Hilal were the dominant force in Saudi Arabia last term, going on to win a league and cup double at the expense of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr in both competitions.

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