PARIS — On Wednesday, Saudi Arabian football club Al Hilal made a significant move by announcing the signing of Brazilian left-back Renan Lodi from French side Olympique Marseille. This marked the club's first acquisition in the winter transfer window. The signing of Lodi is of particular importance for Al Hilal, as he is set to replace the injured Neymar Jr.
The club shared a video on social media titled "Destination Saudi Arabia," featuring Lodi in Paris expressing his excitement and anticipation for joining Al Hilal. Lodi's contract with Al Hilal is for a three-and-a-half-year term, extending through 2027. This move comes after his transfer from Atlético Madrid to Marseille last summer.
The signing is noteworthy due to the Saudi Pro League's limitation, allowing each club to register only eight foreign players. Before securing Lodi, Al Hilal already had seven foreign players on their roster, including Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, Kalidou Koulibaly, Brazilian Malcom, Sergej Milinković-Savić, Aleksandar Mitrović, Rúben Neves, and Brazilian winger Michael.
Al Hilal is currently leading the Saudi league with 53 points, holding a seven-point advantage over their closest competitor, Al Nassr. The addition of Renan Lodi is expected to strengthen the team and contribute to their performance in both domestic and potentially international competitions.