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Saudi giants pip Tottenham to Brazilian defensive star

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Al Ahli sign AS Roma centre-back Roger Ibanez amidst Tottenham Hotspur interest

According to popular Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Saudi Arabia club Al Ahli have managed to sign talented Roma centre-back Roger Ibanez despite interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

Ibanez was touted as a target for Tottenham throughout the summer. The North London club seemed there and there about when it came to making an offer for him but never managed to secure a deal.

To be honest, Tottenham never ever pushed hard for Ibanez. He was always set to be a backup should the primary options fail. Understandably, neither Roma nor the player have waited and moved elsewhere.

Al Alhi have been on a spending spree this summer and Ibanez is the latest name in their list of interesting additions. The other names on their roster include Riyad Mahrez, Allan Saint-Maximin, Edouard Mendy and Roberto Firmino.

At 24, it is a bit baffling to see Roger Ibanez make this decision for his career. However, from a financial perspective, it undoubtedly makes a lot of sense just not for the player but also for Roma.

The Brazilian defender is set to earn Roma €28.5m guaranteed fee plus add-ons from his sale to the Saudi club and although it has not been disclosed, his salary package will definitely be a very sweet one.

Al Ahli sign AS Roma centre-back Roger Ibanez amidst Tottenham Hotspur interest. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
Roger Ibanez has moved to Al Ahli (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

This transfer however provides a rude wake-up call to Tottenham. Yes, no one expects them to compete with the financial might of the Saudi clubs but if they had managed to be a bit more competitive, Ibanez might have chosen the project.

Of course, all this is mere conjecture but the fact that the North London club need to become more ambitious remains. Under Ange Postecoglou, the signs have been really good these past couple of months.

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With regards to Ibanez, he was never really our primary target – just someone we showed interest in. It doesn’t hurt us much that he moved elsewhere.

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