Wolves captain Neves set for Saudi move – reports
Wolves captain Ruben Neves is reportedly close to becoming the next major player to arrive in Saudi Arabia with Al Hilal set to spend £47 million ($60 million) on the Portuguese international.
Sky Sports and the BBC reported on Sunday that Neves, who only had one year left on his contract, will leave for Wolves’ club record fee.
Thanks to its oil riches, Saudi Arabia, the conservative Gulf monarchy frequently targeted over its human rights record, has swiftly achieved a prominent role in world sports, dishing out billion of dollars in the process.
Karim Benzema joined his former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo in moving to the Saudi Pro League earlier this month in what is expected to be just the start of a series of move for stars based in Europe.
France’s World Cup-winning midfielder N’Golo Kante will reportedly turn down a contract renewal at Chelsea to join Benzema at Al-Ittihad.
But in contrast to recent moves for players in the twilight of their careers, Neves, 26, still has his prime years ahead of him.
Barcelona had held a long-term interest in the former Porto midfielder.
A huge offer would ease Wolves’ financial pressures.
They have been under pressure to sell to avoid breaching Premier League spending rules after splashing out £150 million on transfers over the past 12 months.
Neves has made 253 appearances for Wolves, scoring 30 goals, since arriving in 2017.
He helped them win promotion from the Championship a year later and then to two consecutive seventh-placed finishes in the Premier League.
Wolves also reached the Europa League quarter-finals in 2020, but have struggled to replicate that success and finished 13th last season.