Manchester City star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has admitted that he is “open” to potentially joining a Saudi Pro League team. The Middle Eastern division has experienced a boom in recent years by signing several stars from European clubs. Top players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Sadio Mane, and Riyad Mahrez have all joined Saudi sides on huge new deals.

De Bruyne currently has one more year remaining on his contract at City. The star’s future has been a hot topic for months now. Manager Pep Guardiola has been quite vocal about wanting his midfielder to sign a new deal at the club. Former teammate Sergio Aguero even recently suggested that De Bruyne would resist a transfer because he is still “vital” to City.

Midfielder would earn raise on current $26.5 million salary with Middle East move

Nevertheless, the Belgium international has fueled speculation about a potential move away from the Premier League champions. De Bruyne recently sat down with the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws to discuss his future and the Saudi Arabian link. The 32-year-old star has been on international duty since City wrapped up their 2023/24 campaign.

“I still have one year left on my contract, so I have to think about what could happen,” De Bruyne told the newspaper. “At my age, you have to be open to everything. You’re talking about incredible amounts of money in what may be the end of my career. Sometimes you have to think about that.”

“If I play [in Saudi Arabia] for two years, I will be able to earn an incredible amount of money. Before that, I had to play football for 15 years. I may not even reach that amount yet.”

“Then you have to think about what that could mean next. But at the moment I haven’t had to think about that yet. For my wife, an exotic adventure is okay. I have to think about my future.”

De Bruyne is currently the highest-paid player in the entire Premier League. The prolific playmaker reportedly rakes in around $26.5 million annually. This massive salary is fairly comparable to the entire combined roster of recently relegated Luton Town. Only Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane supposedly earn higher wages in all of Europe than De Bruyne.

De Bruyne potentially leaving City would be a blow to the club and the league

Potentially losing De Bruyne to Saudi Arabia would be a massive blow to City. After all, De Bruyne is undoubtedly one of the best players, not just on City, but in the entire Premier League. Despite missing a large portion of the most recent campaign, the midfielder still managed to rack up impressive statistics. He collected 24 combined goals and assists in 26 total matches on the season.

Premier League officials will also want De Bruyne to remain with City as well. The midfielder has been one of the most dominant players in the entire division over the last nine years. He has been named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year five times and was awarded the Premier League Player of the Season twice.

De Bruyne’s potential decision to depart City interestingly coincides with rumors that Guardiola will also soon leave the club. Various reports claim that the 2024/25 campaign will be the legendary manager’s final season in England. The possible exodus comes as City faces over 100 charges for violating spending laws. The team is expected to finally learn their fate regarding the issues later this year.