Ruben Neves confirms decision on his future amid Newcastle links

Ruben Neves has confirmed he will be staying at Al-Hilal, despite links to Newcastle, and stresses he is happy in Saudi Arabia.

Neves has confirmed that he will be staying at Al-Hilal, at least for the time being. The Portuguese midfielder joined the Saudi side from Wolves in the summer in one of the league’s many marquee signings but is already being linked with a return to the Premier League via Newcastle. A recent vote to ban loans of players between two linked clubs was unsuccessful, meaning Newcastle would be able to sign Neves on loan, should the clubs and player agree.

Speaking to the BBC about a potential loan switch to Newcastle, Neves said: “I don’t go. I think that’s rumours because of the owner of the clubs of course, and because I’ve played in England as well. There was Newcastle interest before I came here but I’m really happy here, my family’s really happy, so I’m having a great time.”


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While Neves will not move this window, his return to the Premier League feels inevitable. Arsenal and Newcastle are long-term admirers of the Portuguese midfielder and the latter’s ownership makes the move all the more likely. Both Newcastle and Al-Hilal are owned by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the recent vote to allow loans between the linked clubs only further legitimises business between the parties.

Newcastle were criticised for selling Allan Saint-Maximin to fellow PIF-owned Al-Ahli, with many claiming the transfer fee was overinflated. Given Saudi Arabian clubs are not held to Financial Fair Play rules, there is the possibility Newcastle can circumvent the rules and bring in new players in favourable financial packages.

Neves’ Al-Hilal dispatched of title rivals Al-Nassr 3-0 last night as they extended their lead at the top of the Saudi Pro League to seven points. They face Iranian side, Nassaji Mazandaran in the AFC Champions League on Monday.

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