Saudi champions Al Ittihad add Liverpool's Fabinho to squad of 'outstanding players'

Brazil midfielder joins Saudi Pro League club on three-year contract after Reds accepted £40 million offer

Fabinho, left, has ended his five-year stay at Liverpool to join Saudi Arabia's Al Ittihad. Getty
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Al Ittihad have confirmed the signing of Brazil midfielder Fabinho from Liverpool on a three-year contract.

Fabinho, 29, was left out of Liverpool's pre-season squads for trips to Germany and Singapore after the Saudi Pro League champions made a £40 million bid for him.

Al Ittihad, managed by former Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo, said Fabinho's signing is part of their effort to "reinforce the team with outstanding players, who will support their journey in the upcoming phase, which includes multiple domestic and international competitions".

Capped 29 times for his country, Fabinho will link up with fellow new boys Karim Benzema, N'Golo Kante and Jota at Al Ittihad, one of four Saudi clubs controlled by the Gulf state's sovereign wealth fund, PIF.

Fabinho is the third Liverpool player to switch to Saudi Arabia this summer after fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson signed for Steven Gerrard's Al Ettifaq and striker Roberto Firmino switched to Al Ahli.

Fabinho joined Liverpool from Monaco in 2018 and made 219 appearances for the Reds, winning the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Club World Cup.

"Today I leave my home. It's been five years wearing this jersey and always with the greatest honor and happiness possible," Fabinho wrote on Twitter, which is being rebranded as X.

"Since day one at Liverpool, I've been embraced by everyone," he added. "In these five years, I grew as a player, as a man, I made dreams come true ... With that jersey, I won every title a player can dream of."

Confirming his departure on Monday, Liverpool said in a statement: "We would like to thank Fabinho for all of his contributions to the club's successes during the last five years."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has also seen midfielders Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner depart on free transfers since the end of last season.

But the club have reinforced that area of the field with the signings of Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton & Hove Albion and Dominik Szoboszlai of RB Leipzig.

Centre-back Virgil van Dijk has replaced the departed Henderson as Liverpool captain, with defender Trent Alexander-Arnold taking over as vice-captain from Milner.

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Updated: August 16, 2023, 12:06 PM