Mendy joins Saudi's Al-Ahli from Chelsea – Reuters

Soccer Football – Premier League – Chelsea v Nottingham Forest – Stamford Bridge, London, Britain – May 13, 2023 Chelsea's Edouard Mendy applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Peter Nicholls Acquire Licensing Rights
June 28 (Reuters) – Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy has left Chelsea to join Saudi Arabian side Al-Ahli, the two clubs announced on Wednesday.
"The Lion of Teranga protects our goal," Al-Ahli said in a Twitter post.
Al-Ahli, who are making their return to the top-flight Pro League next season after a year in the second division, said Mendy's contract would run until 2026, without giving any financial details.
British media reported that the Saudi club would pay around 16 million pounds ($20.24 million) for the goalkeeper.
Mendy joined Premier League Chelsea from Stade Rennais in 2020 and the 31-year-old played a pivotal role as the London club won their second Champions League title with a 1-0 win over Manchester City in the final in 2021.
Following the departure of Chelsea's German manager Thomas Tuchel, Mendy fell behind Kepa Arrizabalaga in the pecking order under coaches Graham Potter and then Frank Lampard.
The Saudi Pro league has become an attractive destination for Europe-based players since Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al-Nassr last January.
League Champions Al-Ittihad signed Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema earlier this month, while the club also confirmed former Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante's move last week.
Mendy became the third Chelsea player to move to Saudi Arabia after Kante and compatriot Kalidou Koulibaly joined Al-Hilal.
Earlier this month, the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced a Sports Clubs Investment and Privatization Project involving the league champions Al-Ittihad, Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal.
PIF own 75% of each of the four clubs, while their respective non-profit foundations own 25% of each.
Reporting by Shady Amir Editing by Toby Davis
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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