Mikel Arteta has now called for a rule change to move the Saudi Pro League transfer market in line with the Premier League amid interest in Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhaes.

The Spaniard is adamant that it is not fair to European clubs that Saudi teams have a further two weeks to target their players. Pro League sides have until September 20 to conclude any deals. But the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 sales all shut sooner.

Premier League and La Liga teams have the longest among the top-five European leagues to wrap up all deals. The market closes in England and Spain at 23:00 BST on September 1. But the sales will have already shut in Germany at 17:00, in Italy at 19:00 and in France at 22:00.

Al Hilal present Neymar as new signing after transfer to Saudi Arabia Pro League from Paris Saint-Germain
Photo by Al Hilal Saudi Club / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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Arsenal are at risk of Saudi interest in Gabriel’s transfer

Yet while European clubs would not be able to land replacements, Saudi sides can still target their players. Arsenal may be at risk of such events as the Daily Mail cites interest from Saudi Arabia in Gabriel’s transfer. He is also on Real Madrid’s radar due to Eder Militao’s ACL injury.

Arsenal are loath to see Gabriel leave even for bids of €200m (£171m), according to Fabrizio Romano. But Arteta might face waiting until September 20 to fend off the interest in the 25-year-old’s signature. Overlooking the Brazilian before then could also tempt Gabriel to leave.

Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes in action against Manchester City in Community Shield amid Saudi Pro League transfer interest
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Mikel Arteta demands changes to the Pro League market

Arteta has only named Gabriel on his bench through Arsenal’s opening two Premier League games this season. The defender has played in each as a late substitute to help see out wins over Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace. But Gabriel would have expected a starting role.

Now, Gabriel is among the latest players to get interest from Saudi Arabia and Arsenal must wait until their transfer window ends on September 20, rather than September 1. So, Arteta has demanded to see the Saudi sales be aligned with close dates for the European markets.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta demands Saudi Pro League transfer change
Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images

“No, [it’s not fair] because they’re a competitor now,” he said, via quotes by football.london. “I think we have to change that.”

Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Neves, Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, Marcelo Brozovic, Roberto Firmino, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Jordan Henderson, Riyad Mahrez, Allan Saint-Maximin, Fabinho, Sadio Mane and Neymar have all moved to Saudi Arabia this year.

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