Man Utd, Arsenal midfield target ‘completes’ big-money transfer to Saudi club; £44m fee ‘agreed’

Harry Watkinson
Ruben Neves of Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Ruben Neves is ‘set’ to join Saudi club Al Hilal on a deal worth £44m, according to reports.

The Portugal international has been subject to interest from Manchester United and Arsenal in the past. But, it both have missed out on signing him.

Neves certainly has the quality to be a top player on his day. So, Julen Lopetegui has a big task on his hands to replace him this summer.

The midfielder signed for Wolves in 2017 from Porto and has been central to their success since then.

Neves helped the Midlands club to win the Championship in his first season. Then, he was a key player as Wolves secured two seventh-placed finishes in the following two seasons.

The club also reached the Europa League quarter-finals in 2020, before being knocked out by Lopetegui’s Sevilla.

However, they have struggled to replicate that success since. Last season, they finished in 13th place despite being bottom at Christmas.

Overall, Neves made 253 appearances across all competitions for Wolves. In the process, he scored 30 goals and made 13 assists.

The Portuguese star also gained a reputation for scoring screamers against big teams – something that Premier League fans will no doubt miss in the future.

As previously reported by Football365, Neves’ agents were trying to convince Arsenal to sign him this summer. 

However, West Ham’s Declan Rice and Southampton’s Romeo Lavia have since become the Gunners’ transfer priorities.

Also, as mentioned, Man Utd are admirers of Neves, as well as Barcelona. However, a concrete offer never materialised from either of the European giants.

Neves told Sky Sports towards the end of the 2022/23 season that he wanted to play Champions League football as he addressed speculation around his future.

In response, he said: “Let’s see what’s going to happen. I always say the same thing, I truly love to be here. But I never hide that I want to play Champions League football.”

“In football you need to go for your main goals and that will be a massive decision for me and my family.”

However, it seems Neves won’t be playing Champions League football anytime soon.

As per widespread reports, Wolves have now agreed a £44m transfer fee with Saudi club Al Hilal. Sky Sports note that personal terms ‘are not expected to be a problem.

With the deal all-but completed, attention switches to Julen Lopetegui, who will be charged with bringing in a replacement.

So, Wolves will definitely be a team to keep an eye on over the next few weeks, as they consider which midfielder to bring in.

READ MORE: Man Utd takeover: Ten Hag ‘angry’ as £100m Arsenal hijack foiled by Glazers inactivity