Saudi Arabian football club, Al-Hilal, has been making waves in the football world with their aggressive approach in the transfer market. Their latest target? None other than the Moroccan sensation, Yassine Bounou. When the club began advanced negotiations with Sevilla for Bounou’s services, it was clear that they wanted to strengthen their goalkeeping department.
Bounou, affectionately known as Bono, has been nothing short of phenomenal in recent years. His heroics during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar for the Moroccan national team and his consistent performances for Sevilla FC have solidified his reputation as one of the world’s premier goalkeepers.
European Giants in the Race
The allure of Bounou’s abilities is not restricted to Al-Hilal. The Moroccan shot-stopper has piqued the curiosity of European powerhouses such as Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Bayern Munich, in particular, was eager to replace the vacuum left by Manuel Neuer, their iconic goalkeeper. However, Sevilla’s €20 million asking price appeared to be a stumbling block for the German team. They were more interested in a loan agreement, which did not fit with Sevilla’s intentions.
Real Madrid, on the other hand, was in the market for a new goalkeeper following Thibaut Courtois’ ACL injury. But instead of pursuing Bounou, they opted for Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Al-Hilal’s Winning Bid
Despite the interest from these European powerhouses, it was Al-Hilal’s determination and willingness to meet Sevilla’s demands that made the difference. Reports suggest that Al-Hilal has agreed to a €19 million fixed fee, with add-ons potentially taking the package up to €21 million. This transfer comes in the wake of Al-Hilal’s record-breaking €290 million purchase of Neymar from PSG.
Bounou’s possible transfer to Al-Hilal is viewed as evidence of the club’s ambition. Having previously signed Neymar, Malcom, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Ruben Neves, the arrival of Bounou would cement their aim to dominate not only the Saudi Pro League but also Asian football.
Yassine Bounou’s football experience has been nothing short of inspirational. He began his career at Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca and went on to play for clubs such as Atlético Madrid, Real Zaragoza, and Girona before joining Sevilla in 2019. During his time with Sevilla, he won two Europa League trophies, further solidifying his status on the European scene.
Furthermore, he has made major contributions to the Moroccan national team. Leading them to the World Cup semi-finals in 2022 was a credit to his leadership and ability between the sticks.
As the summer transfer window draws to a close, the football world awaits with bated breath to see if this transaction gets completed. If it occurs, it will not only be a huge acquisition for Al-Hilal, but also a new chapter in the remarkable career of Yassine Bounou. The UEFA Super Cup clash against Manchester City might have been his swan song for Sevilla, but for Bounou, the journey is far from over.