18 June 2023

Ruben Neves set for Saudi Arabia move as Wolves hold talks with Al Hilal

18 June 2023

Wolves captain Ruben Neves is close to a £47million move to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal.

The 26-year-old midfielder has been expected to leave Molineux this summer and is poised to become the latest high-profile player to move to the Middle East, the PA news agency understands.

Barcelona had held a long-term interest in the Portugal international but have not been able to get a deal over the line.

Wolves are now in talks with Al Hilal for Neves, who only had a year left on his contract, with a move – which will be a club-record sale – likely to be completed this week.

Karim Benzema completed a free transfer to Al Ittihad this month and Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is linked with joining him, while Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al Nassr in December.

A huge offer for Wolves would ease the financial pressures the club will be working under in the transfer window this summer.

They have been under pressure to sell to avoid breaching Premier League spending rules after splashing out £200m this term.

It led to doubts over Julen Lopetegui’s future but the former Real Madrid boss will stay at Molineux having received assurances.

Yet he will lose Neves, who has been central to Wolves’ success since joining from Porto in 2017.

He helped them win the Championship a year later and then to two consecutive seventh-placed finishes in the Premier League.

The club also reached the Europa League quarter-finals in 2020 – where they were knocked out by Lopetegui’s Sevilla – but have struggled to replicate that success and finished 13th last season having been bottom at Christmas.

Neves has made 253 appearances for Wolves in all competitions, scoring 30 goals.

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