Al-Hilal transfer targets, rumours and odds: Saudi Pro League leaders seek cover for Neymar

It has been a near perfect season so far for Al-Hilal who are reaping the rewards of a wild summer spending spree that saw the likes of Neymar, Ruben Neves and Aleksandar Mitrovic arrive. With 17 wins and 2 draws from their 19 Saudi Pro League games, they looked destined for league glory but there is still talk of Al-Hilal transfer targets this month, suggesting they could soon splash the cash once more.

Al-Hilal are also strong contenders for AFC Asian Champions League glory. They face a Round of 16 tie against Sepahan of Iran in February and may look for some fresh attacking blood given marquee summer signing Neymar has succumbed to another serious injury which is likely to rule him out for the remainder of the campaign.

However Al-Hilal hardly seem lacking in firepower even without the player who was the most expensive Saudi summer signing. Mitrovic has fired in 17 league goals already, second only to Cristiano Ronaldo while Malcom and Salem Al-Dawsari are on 9 apiece.

Boss Jorge Jesus will be expected to deliver major silverware before the end of the campaign and it would be a huge shock if he failed in that goal. Al-Hilal look well placed to claim their 19th Pro League title while they will take some stopping as they bid for a third Asian title in six years.

Al-Hilal transfer targets, rumours and odds

Rumoured Al-Hilal signings in January 2024

Filip Kostic (4/1*)

Al-Hilal transfer targets
Kostic in action for Juve against Sassuolo earlier this month – Photo by Icon Sport

Juventus winger Filip Kostic is one man who has been linked with a move to Al-Hilal. He’d bring attacking quality in wide areas which is what they may be looking for in the absence of Neymar. He'd also bring experience to the team and would add to the Serbian contingent which already consists of Mitrovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Kostic has been a regular for Juve this season, starting 17 times in Serie A but a big offer could potentially test the Italian club’s resolve to keep the 31 year old.

Casemiro (12/1*)

There were high hopes when Manchester United paid big money to Real Madrid for the services of serial winner Casemiro in 2022. However the Brazilian is just one of many high profile and high earning signings who have struggled to produce their best football at Old Trafford. 

His high wages, mean there are relatively few clubs in the world who could seriously afford to contemplate a move for the midfielder but Al-Hilal certainly fall into that bracket. His situation is similar to that of teammate Raphael Varane who has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia.

*Projected Odds

Rumoured Al-Hilal departures in January 2024

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (8/1*)

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic during the Saudi Pro League match between Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr – Photo by Khalid Alhaj/Icon Sport

There have been reports that summer signing Milinkovic-Savic has already told former Lazio teammates that he’d like to return to Europe. There is no formal indication yet that the midfielder is about to take a leaf out of Jordan Henderon’s book by abandoning Saudi Arabia already but he has been linked with a move to Juventus. If there’s any truth to the rumours, that would raise the possibility of some kind of exchange deal involving Kostic.

Michael (2/1*)

Brazilian striker Michael is another who has been linked with a move away, although this may be a domestic transfer within Saudi Arabia. The 27 year old joined Al-Hilal from Flamengo in 2021 but has fallen down the pecking order following the raft of high profile summer signings. A move to Al-Ittihad on loan has been muted and his exit could free up space for a fresh attacking arrival.

*Projected Odds

Mark is a freelance football writer based in Madrid. He regularly attends and covers La Liga matches around Spain, whilst also following football across Europe.