Following in the footsteps of Liverpool teammate Jordan Henderson, Brazil midfielder Fabinho left the club to move to the emerging Saudi Pro League. He joined Al-Ittihad on Monday, the team where Karim Benzema and N`Golo Kanté now play.
Fabinho moved for a reported 40 million pounds ($51.5 million) to end his five-year stay at Liverpool, which he joined from Monaco.
His exit comes a week after Jordan Henderson left Liverpool after 12 years to join another Saudi team, Al-Ettifaq. Roberto Firmino also moved to the oil-rich kingdom after his contract expired at Liverpool.
The Saudi league hopes to raise the profile of soccer in the country by signing some of the world`s top players. Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al-Nassr in December post which many footballers followed.
The 29-year-old Fabinho made 219 appearances for Liverpool and helped the club win the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League a year later.
Fabinho was not always a regular for Liverpool last season after a loss of form.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has overhauled his midfield by signing Argentina`s Alexis Mac Allister and Hungary captain Dominik Szoboszlai, and the club is now searching for a holding midfielder to replace Fabinho.
“It`s been five years wearing this jersey and always with the greatest honor and happiness possible,” Fabinho wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Since day one at Liverpool, I`ve been embraced by everyone. What I saw inside this club, the relationship between the people there, made me feel like family. In these five years, I grew as a player, as a man, I made dreams come true.”
Al-Ittihad said Fabinho has signed a three-year deal.
(With AP inputs)