Sources have confirmed to 90min that Arsenal have been alerted to the possible availability of midfield target Ruben Neves ahead of the January transfer window.
Neves ended his six-year stay in England over the summer when he departed Wolverhampton Wanderers for Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal. The move came as a shock to many as the 26-year-old was a proven top-level player entering his prime years.
But after just a few months in Saudi Arabia, it is understood that the Portuguese international is keen on returning to the Premier League, and Arsenal could offer him a route back to Europe.
The Gunners are looking to bring in a new midfielder during the January window. Thomas Partey’s future at the club is increasingly uncertain while he is also currently sidelined for an extended period with a muscle injury.
Neves is just one of many players that Arsenal are interested in. It has been reported that they have been monitoring the likes of Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz, Fluminese’s Andre, Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi and Joao Neves of Benfica.
It has been widely reported that Newcastle United are long-time admirers of Ruben Neves but their plans to bring him to Tyneside could be scuppered by a Premier League rule change.
It is being reported that top-flight clubs will meet later this month to vote on legislation that would ban clubs owned by the same entity from loaning players to one another.
The Saudi Arabia Investment Fund has a majority 80% stake in Newcastle, while they have control of four Saudi Pro League clubs – Al Hilal, Al Nassr, Al Ittihad and Al Ahli. At this stage, it is unclear whether they would entertain allowing a player of Neves’ quality to join one of the Magpies’ Premier League rivals.
Neves has played 17 games for Al Hilal since signing for them in June, scoring twice and adding one assist. He remains an integral part of Roberto Martinez’s Portugal team and has joined up with the Selecao for their November internationals.