Ruben Neves breaks silence on Newcastle transfer links as Arsenal dealt blow

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Ruben Neves has poured cold water on the possibility of joining Newcastle on loan from Al-Hilal in the January transfer window. The former Wolves man has been linked with a move to St James’ Park after Premier League clubs voted against a ban on loaning players from within the same ownership group.

Arsenal have also been credited with a desire to land Neves with the likes of Thomas Partey, Fabio Vieira and Emile Smith Rowe all out injured. However, it seems that Neves has no interest in returning to the Premier League, with the 26-year-old fully committed to Al-Hilal after joining the Saudi giants over the summer.

He told BBC Sport: “I don’t go. I think that’s rumours because of the owner of the clubs of course, and because I’ve played in England as well. There was Newcastle interest before I came here but I’m really happy here, my family’s really happy, so I’m having a great time.”

Neves could have helped the Magpies to fill the gap left by Sandro Tonali’s ban for betting breaches, but it seems clear that he will be going nowhere for the foreseeable future at least. He added: “Everything is going really well for me and I want to stay here.”

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It remains to be seen who Newcastle will decide to target in January following Neves’ insistence that he will be staying at Al-Hilal this winter. Eddie Howe is believed to be keen on signing another midfielder to provide short-term cover for Tonali, who is unable to play for the Magpies until August.

They have also been credited with an interest in Kalvin Phillips, who was linked with a move to St James’ Park over the summer but ended up staying at Manchester City. The England ace will be desperate to play regular football ahead of next summer’s Euros and it would make sense for him to join Newcastle in search of consistent minutes.

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Arsenal, meanwhile, are thought to be weighing up a renewed move for Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz after trying and failing to sign him last year. The 25-year-old has played a key role in shaping Villa’s impressive start to the season, with Unai Emery having already underlined his desire to keep him for as long as possible.

“Douglas is playing very good and he improves a lot,” said the Villa boss last month. “His commitment is amazing. I am very happy with him and I want to keep him, of course. I think he’s happy with us, his commitment with his national team and his performances like today are amazing, fantastic. I want him.”

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