Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly pushing for the signing of Al-Hilal midfielder Ruben Neves in the upcoming January transfer window. Neves, who previously played for Wolverhampton Wanderers, has emerged as a top target for the Gunners as they seek to strengthen their midfield options. This move comes in light of the injury sustained by Thomas Partey, which has left a void in Arsenal’s midfield structure. While Newcastle United also holds an interest in Neves, Arteta is determined to convince the Arsenal board to secure the Portugal international’s signature.
Ruben Neves: A Midfield Maestro
Ruben Neves, known for his exceptional performances during his time at Wolverhampton Wanderers, established himself as one of the most talented midfielders in the Premier League. Making 253 appearances for Wolves, Neves showcased his versatility and ability to contribute both defensively and offensively. With 30 goals and 13 assists to his name, he proved himself to be a valuable asset to any team. Neves’ eye for spectacular goals earned him a reputation as a scorer of world-class efforts.
The Al-Hilal Experience
In a surprising move, Ruben Neves joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal in a £47 million deal in June. However, his time in the Middle East has not panned out as expected, and Neves is reportedly eager to return to European football. Despite earning a substantial salary of £300,000 per week, the Portuguese midfielder has failed to settle in Riyadh. His agent is now actively seeking a move back to England, with Tottenham, Newcastle, and Arsenal all linked with potential moves for the player.
Arteta’s Persuasive Powers
Mikel Arteta has made it clear that Ruben Neves is his top target for the January transfer window. Reports suggest that the Arsenal manager has successfully convinced the club’s board to finance the acquisition of the talented midfielder. Neves’ arrival would provide a significant boost to Arsenal’s midfield, particularly in the absence of Thomas Partey, who is currently sidelined due to injury. Arteta sees Neves as a perfect upgrade for Partey, who has struggled with form and fitness this season.
Competing Interest from Newcastle
While Arsenal pursues Ruben Neves, Newcastle United also holds a keen interest in the midfielder. This adds an element of competition to the potential transfer, as both clubs vie for the player’s signature. It is worth noting that Al-Hilal, the club Neves currently plays for, is owned by the same group as Newcastle United. This connection may give Newcastle an advantage in negotiations, but Arsenal remains determined to secure the services of Neves.
The Aston Villa Alternative
Douglas Luiz of Aston Villa is another midfielder on Arsenal’s shortlist, but the pursuit of the Brazilian presents challenges. Aston Villa has shown reluctance to sell Luiz, and the player himself signed a contract extension, tying him to the club until 2026. Despite Arsenal’s interest, it is unlikely that Villa will let the midfielder go in January. This situation has intensified Arsenal’s focus on Ruben Neves, who is viewed as a more attainable target.
Al-Hilal, while reluctant to part ways with Ruben Neves, may not stand in the way of an unhappy player. Neves’ desire to return to European football could prompt the Saudi Arabian side to consider offers. Al-Hilal is likely to demand a fee of around €65 million (£57 million) for the 26-year-old midfielder. This valuation would secure a profit for the club and potentially entice Arsenal to make a move.
The Loan-to-Purchase Option
To facilitate the transfer, Arsenal may explore the possibility of signing Ruben Neves on an initial loan with an obligation to make the move permanent in the summer. This arrangement could provide a compromise between the interests of both Al-Hilal and Arsenal. It remains to be seen whether such an agreement can be reached, as negotiations are likely to be complex.
Mikel Arteta’s pursuit of Ruben Neves as a midfield reinforcement for Arsenal in the January transfer window showcases the manager’s determination to strengthen his squad. Neves’ impressive performances at Wolves have caught the attention of top clubs, and Arsenal is eager to secure his services. While competition from Newcastle United and potential obstacles with Al-Hilal may pose challenges, Arteta’s persuasive powers and Arsenal’s firm intention to sign Neves make this potential transfer one to watch in the coming months.
Ruben Neves’ desire to play in the UEFA Champions League adds an extra layer of motivation for him to return to European football. Arsenal’s current position in the Premier League and their ambition to challenge for top honors could prove enticing for the Portuguese midfielder.