Al-Ittihad new signings: Confirmed ins and outs for Summer 2023

Al-Ittihad new signings – who are they? If the answer to that question is what you've been after, we've got you covered in this article.

It’s been a busy transfer period for Al-Ittihad, with multiple transfers successfully navigated already. If you’ve been tracking the Al-Ittihad transfers this summer, you’ll no doubt be aware that they’ve scooped up some big names.

Yet they’ve not just been busy bringing players in – they’ve also let go of several loyal players to make room in the squad for the new guys.

On that note, if you’re hoping to read about Al-Ittihad's new signings, as well as transfer departures you are in the right place.

Al-Ittihad New Signings – Summer 2023 Arrivals

If you’ve monitored the Saudi Pro League at all in the 22/23 season, you’ll be aware that Al-Ittihad became league champions. Of course, this is a major pull factor for European players, yet the money is no doubt the most attractive element of all. And for two players in particular, the dollar signs have been too hard to resist, as you can see through the details of the two new Al-Ittihad signings below.

Karim Benzema – Forward – Real Madrid

Al-Ittihad new signings
Photo by Icon Sport

This is the most significant new signing of them all, perhaps for the entire Saudi Pro League, not just for Al-Ittihad. With Karim Benzema finding himself out of contract at Real Madrid, he has made the move to Al-Ittihad as a free transfer. This is obviously huge for the club, especially with Benzema being the current Ballon d’Or trophy holder. As for the value of his contract, Benzema has inked a two-year deal that is reportedly worth €400 million.

N’Golo Kante – Midfield – Chelsea

Al-Ittihad has swooped in to try and secure quite a few midfielders in recent weeks, yet they’ve only completed the signing of a couple. One of these high-profile signings has been Jota, and the other is N’Golo Kante, who has also arrived as a free transfer. At 32 years of age, Kante is obviously approaching the twilight of his career, yet these will be extremely lucrative years. I say this as Kante has signed a four-year contract with Al-Ittihad that will earn him €86 million per year.

Fabinho

Fabinho Transfer
Photo by Icon Sport

Valued at €42m, Fabinho is definitely Al-Ittihad’s top player at the moment. Sure, Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema is the star of Al-Ittihad’s project but at the age of 35, the French goalscoring legend may not be as sharp as we’re used to seeing him be wearing Los Blancos’ jersey.

Fabinho spent the last five years playing for Premier League’s Liverpool. During these five campaigns, the defensive midfielder was a key cog in coach Jurgen Klopp’s game-winning machine. Fabinho was featured in 36 official games in the Premier League alone in the 2022/23 season, assisting teammates on two occasions.

Now, Fabinho already has five official games for his new club Al-Ittihad. The Saudi Pro League managed to tempt Merseyside with a massive £40m pay for his services. The Brazilian midfielder joins Al-Ittihad on a three-year deal with the option to prolong his stay with an additional season should the manager and board be pleased with his work.

Jota

Portuguese winger Jota is one of the key new players to boost coach Nuno Espirito Santo’s side. The Portuguese manager himself had a memorable Premier League career with Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers but will now be able to work with fellow countryman Jota in the Saudi Pro League.

It was no secret that Santo was an admirer of Jota’s talent during his stay in charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers, so it’s no surprise Al-Ittihad’s board decided to grant him this transfer wish.

The 24-year-old winger joins Al-Ittihad on a three-year deal as well after Al-Ittihad spent a massive £25m on him, which was a club-record at the time. Jota was a key player for the Scottish Premiership’s Celtic during the last two seasons.

Hassan Kadesh

31-year-old Hassan Kadesh joins Al-Ittihad on a massive €9.8m deal. He’ll spend the next two seasons fighting for Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo. Seeing as the €9.8m transfer is quite an impressive number, we believe Hassan Kadesh will be the first choice for the left-back position, with Ahmed Bamsaud playing second fiddle.

Al-Ittihad Transfer Departures

Now that you are fully aware of the most significant Al-Ittihad new signings, let’s move to the players that have departed the club over the last couple of months. I have highlighted three of the biggest departures for you below.

Bruno Henrique – Midfield – Internacional

Al-Ittihad new signings
Photo by Icon Sport

At 33 years of age, Bruno Henrique is also approaching the final few years of his competitive career. And for that reason, he’s chosen to head home to compete in the Brazilian Serie A. Henrique has moved there on a free transfer to play for the club, Internacional, and his position will no doubt be filled by N’Golo Kante for the upcoming season.

Khaled Al-Sumairi – Midfield – Khaleej

Another departure in the midfield ranks relates to Khaled Al-Sumairi. He has been out on loan for the 22/23 season in the Saudi Pro League, yet Al-Ittihad has now deemed it best to allow him to move permanently on a free transfer. This move has been completed in recent weeks, and Al-Sumairi will now play for Khaleej in the Saudi Pro League for the upcoming season. Interestingly enough, this was the team that he was loaned out to for the previous season, so he’s obviously enjoyed his time there.

Mohammed Sawaan – Midfield – Al-Kholood

Sawaan is the youngest of all the Al-Ittihad transfers that we've highlighted here. The 22-year-old hasn’t exactly played a ton of football for the club in recent times, and this has no doubt prompted the free transfer that’s been realized this summer. To be specific, Mohammed Sawaan will now join the Saudi Arabian team, Al-Kholood, for the 23/24 season.

Mohammed Al-Saiari – Al-Qadsiah

30-year-old Mohammed Al-Sairi had to go in order for the club to open space for French goalscoring legend Karim Benzema. The former Real Madrid player is the face of Al-Ittihad today and it was clear that Mohammed Al-Saiari wasn’t going to get the appropriate number of minutes during the 2023/24 season. That’s why Al-Ittihad’s board was satisfied with the €750k offered by Saudi Pro League’s Al-Qadsiah FC. The Saudi striker will get the chance to prove his former manager wrong by performing above all expectations.

Tarek Hamed – Damac FC

Egyptian defensive midfielder Tarek Hamed made 24 official appearances for Al-Ittihad in the 2022/23 Saudi Pro League campaign, earning himself five yellow cards and one red card. He couldn’t score or assist for the team but he was a valuable asset nonetheless. Regardless, with the arrival of so many world-class players, the 34-year-old midfielder’s minutes would’ve been cut to the bone. That’s why he and Al-Ittihad parted ways and the player was able to join Damac FC on a free transfer.


Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the UK and has developed in-depth knowledge of the igaming world by working in the betting industry for over five years. During this time, he has written thousands of articles covering various topics, including bookmaker reviews, ‘how to’ guides, bonus comparisons and much more.