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Saudi Arabian dealmakers believe that Kevin De Bruyne could be a transformative signing comparable to Cristiano Ronaldo after the Manchester City star revealed he would consider the "incredible amount of money" on offer in the Pro League.

The 33-year-old has long figured among the most prominent targets at the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund that owns four of the biggest clubs in the Pro League. Saudi Arabian sources have told CBS Sports that he would be considered a marquee signing who, if tempted away from City, would have an impact to match Ronaldo's arrival at Al-Nassr in January 2023.

Al Nassr were viewed as the leading contender to pick up De Bruyne if PIF could have negotiated a deal in the summer of 2023, but there are no guarantees they would be at the head of the queue for a deal negotiated by their ownership this time. Al-Hilal will play at next summer's Club World Cup in the US; PIF have previously looked to first strengthen the clubs who will be representing Saudi Arabia at international tournaments.

Saudi interest in De Bruyne last summer was not reciprocated by the player, but after an injury-plagued season for the City legend, it would appear that any interest would now be seriously considered. Representatives from Roc Nation, the agency that works with the Belgian international, were in Saudi Arabia last month for talks with multiple clubs including Al-Ittihad.

"At my age you have to be open to everything," De Bruyne, told Belgian newspaper HLN. "You're talking about incredible amounts of money in what may be the end of my career. Sometimes you have to think about that. If I play there for two years, I will be able to earn an incredible amount of money. Before that I had to play football for 15 years. I may not even reach that amount yet.

"Then you have to think about what that could mean next. But at the moment I haven't had to think about that yet."

The emergence of the Saudi Pro League as a potential destination for the biggest names in the sport was a major plotline of last summer's transfer window, where nearly $900 million was spent on transfer fees alone bringing the likes of Neymar, Sadio Mane and Karim Benzema to the country. Saudi sources have indicated the league does not intend to spend as heavily this year as it looks to build a more sustainable league. However there will always be an appetite within clubs to bring marquee names such as De Bruyne.

One notable exception to the restraint could be Al-Qadisah, newly promoted and owned by the national oil company Aramco. They have been linked with moves for Alexandre Lacazette and Koen Casteels. Funds could also be made available to strengthen the quality of the league and to drive interest and crowds beyond the PIF quartet of Al-Ahli, Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal and Al-Ittihad.

As for De Bruyne, he has won every major club honor in his nine years, including six Premier League crowns. Were he to stay at the Etihad Stadium for another year and win the title again he would become the joint-fourth most successful player in the competition's history, trailing only Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs for Premier League titles won. The playmaker, a two time Professional Footballer's Association player of the year, struggled for injuries early last season but still finished third in the assist rankings.

"I still have one year left on my contract, so I have to think about what could happen," he said. "My eldest is now eight years old and knows nothing but England. He also asks how long I will play for City. Once the moment comes, we will have to deal with it in a certain way."