Mitrovic to partner Neymar in attack after sealing move to Al Hilal from Fulham

Serbian striker signs three-year contract and becomes latest big-name player to join Saudi Pro League

Aleksandar Mitrovic has joined the likes of Neymar, Malcom and international teammate Sergej Milinkovic-Savic at Al Hilal. Getty
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Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has become the latest big-name player to move to the Saudi Pro League after Al Hilal on Sunday confirmed his signing on a three-year contract.

"The board of directors of Al Hilal Club Company has signed the Serbian player Aleksandar Mitrovic," Al Hilal posted on social media. "Mitrovic's contract extends for three seasons, until 2026.

"The board of directors of the company was represented by the chairman Mr Fahad Bin Saad Bin Nafal. The signing ceremony took place at Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris, France."

The arrival of Mitrovic, 28, from Premier League club Fulham continues a remarkable summer transfer window for Hilal, who have recruited several top-level players from Europe and have broken the league transfer record three times.

The Riyadh giants first broke the record with the signing of Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves from Wolves and again when Brazilian winger Malcom arrived from Zenit St Petersburg. However, both deals were significantly eclipsed earlier this week when Hilal signed Brazilian superstar Neymar for a reported €90 million ($98m) from Paris Saint-Germain.

Hilal have also completed deals this summer for Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Chelsea, Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou from Sevilla, and Mitrovic's Serbia teammate Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Lazio.

The fee for Mitrovic has not been disclosed, although Fulham said they had received a club record fee for the striker, reportedly worth in the region of £45 million ($57.3 million).

Mitrovic, Fulham's top scorer in four of the past five seasons, was absent from his team's 3-0 loss to Brentford on Saturday, after getting injured in Fulham's opening match of the Premier League season against Everton last week.

The 28-year-old striker's contract with Fulham ran until 2026 and the London club reportedly knocked back several offers from Hilal, before an agreement was finally reached.

“I got information before the match and now the confirmation from the club after the match too that he’s on his way to leave the club,” Fulham manager Marco Silva said at Craven Cottage after the defeat to Brentford.

“Both clubs they got an agreement and now is the moment to finish the era of Mitrovic in our club."

Hilal, the most decorated club in Asian football with 66 major trophies, are one of four clubs – alongside Al Ahli, Al Nassr, and defending champions Al Ittihad – to have been acquired by the Public Investment Fund, which has provided the four biggest clubs in Saudi the financial support to sign some of the most famous players in world football.

Mitrovic's arrival provides Hilal further firepower to their ambitions of reclaiming the Saudi Pro League title they surrendered to Ittihad last season. He has scored 197 goals in 436 club appearances across his career, while he is Serbia's all-time leading goalscorer with 52 goals.

Hilal, who finished third last season, have begun the new season with one win and a draw, following up their 3-1 opening weekend victory at Abha with a 1-1 home draw against Al Feiha on Saturday.

Updated: August 20, 2023, 11:26 AM