Fulham boss Marco Silva confirms Saudi approach but coy on whether he has accepted

Portuguese, 46, has been linked with manager's job at Jeddah club Al Ahli

Fulham manager Marco Silva could be the latest Premier League recruit to Saudi Arabia. PA
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Fulham manager Marco Silva has confirmed he has received an official approach from Saudi Pro League club Al Ahli but remains coy on whether he has accepted the offer.

Silva, 46, has reportedly been offered a £40 million deal to coach Al Ahli and told reporters an offer has been made by the Jeddah club.

When pressed on what his answer had been, the Portuguese refused to answer, saying: "My commitment for the club [Fulham] is clear and it will continue."

He added: "I have shown my commitment to this club last season so many times.

"I will not talk about the situation. I don't come here to talk about offers and these situations."

Silva is highly regarded by the West London club after guiding them to a 10th-place finish in their first season back in the Premier League after promotion.

The former Watford and Everton boss has a contract at Craven Cottage until at least next summer.

Considered one Saudi Arabia’s “big four”, Al Ahli spent last season outside the top tier for the first time in their history, but bounced straight back by winning the first division title. Backed by PIF, they have signed Roberto Firmino and Edouard Mendy from Chelsea, and are set to land Riyadh Mahrez from Manchester City and Allan Saint-Maximin from Newcastle United.

Pro League interest in Fulham is not only limited to Silva.

Last week, the Cottagers rejected an offer of £25 million from Al Hilal for striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.

The 28-year-old Serb is thought to be keen to move to Saudi Arabia and has been omitted from Fulham's matchday squad to take on Premier League rivals Brentford in their first pre-season match in the Premier League Summer Series in Philadelphia on Sunday.

"It is not the ideal scenario, not because he received an offer. It is all the situation about himself," Silva said, adding Mitrovic was "not working properly with his teammates."

Mitrovic has made over 200 appearances for Fulham since joining from Newcastle United on a permanent deal in 2018, scoring 111 goals including 15 across competition last season. He is Serbia's all-time leading scorer with 52 goals.

In April he was handed an eight-game ban after pushing referee Chris Kavanagh in Fulham's FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Manchester United.

Saudi Arabia's push to elevate its domestic league to one of the top five in the world has seen its club embark on an unprecedented drive to recruit the best players and coaches from around the world.

Starting with Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival last December, the likes of Ballon d'Or holder Karim Benzema, French World Cup winner N'Golo Kante and and ex-Rangers and Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard have all joined clubs in the kingdom.

Top Saudi Pro League signings so far

Updated: July 23, 2023, 7:56 AM