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Newcastle United, Arsenal target Ruben Neves 'set to stay at Al-Hilal in January'

Newcastle, Arsenal target Ruben Neves 'set to stay at Al-Hilal in January'
© Reuters
Ruben Neves is reportedly set to stay at Al-Hilal beyond the January transfer window despite being linked with a number of Premier League clubs including Newcastle United and Arsenal.

Ruben Neves is reportedly set to stay at Al-Hilal beyond the January transfer window despite being linked with a number of Premier League clubs including Newcastle United and Arsenal.

The 26-year-old ended his six-year association with Wolverhampton Wanderers to make the surprise move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal for a reported £47m in the summer, penning a three-year contract.

Neves has since made 17 appearances for Al-Hilal, who currently sit top of the Saudi Pro League table, but the midfielder has been tipped to make a swift return to the English top flight on either a temporary or permanent basis.

Newcastle are understood to have identified Neves as one of their primary midfield targets as they attempt to fill the void left behind by Sandro Tonali, who is serving a 10-month ban for breaching betting rules.

Speculation surrounding Neves has predominantly focused on the Magpies as they share the same majority shareholder – Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) – as Al-Hilal.

Ruben Neves celebrates scoring for Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 28, 2022© Reuters

The prospect of Newcastle negotiating transfers with associated parties and luring players from the Saudi Pro League has raised concerns from rivals clubs in the Premier League.

As a result, all 20 teams in the top flight as set to hold a vote at a shareholders meeting on Tuesday to determine whether such dealings will be approved or blocked – a two-third majority is required to gain approval.

Newcastle are not the only Premier League club said to be interested in Neves, as Arsenal and reigning champions Manchester City have also been tipped to move for the Portugal international, while the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool were linked with the midfielder in the summer.

However, according to The Athletic, the firm anticipation is that Neves will remain at Al-Hilal until at least the end of the season despite interest in his services and regardless of the outcome of the Premier League's Saudi transfers vote.

Ruben Neves in action for Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 6, 2022© Reuters

The report adds that Neves is settled in at the Riyadh-based club and is happy to have established himself as a key player for Jorge Jesus's side.

Al-Hilal are yet to have received an approach or entered negotiations with another club over a deal for Neves, and as things stand, the midfielder will be staying put.

Neves is focused fully on helping Al-Hilal win back the Saudi Pro League title this season and progress into the latter stages of both the AFC Champions League and King's Cup.

The decision for Neves to stay at Al-Hilal could see Premier League clubs such as Newcastle and Arsenal turn their attention to another reported target in the form of Man City's Kalvin Phillips, who is widely expected to leave the Etihad Stadium in January.

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Al-Hilal's Ruben Neves pictured on August 19, 2023
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