Premier League giants Man City step up to the challenge in the race for a massive upgrade to the Phillips, as Prem partnership is set to be renewed.

Manchester City have become the latest contenders to bring Ruben Neves back to the Premier League from Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League, according to a report.

Of all the players that went to Saudi Arabia over the summer, Neves was one of the more surprising. At the age of 26, he had five seasons under his belt as a Premier League regular with Wolves. Surprisingly, though, the former Porto captain left European football behind.

However, TEAMtalk revealed on Thursday that Neves is now hoping to come back to the Premier League. Newcastle (if allowed), Arsenal and Tottenham are all understood to be potential destinations for the Portugal international, as AC Milan would be too.

According to an update from Football Insider, Man City are also genuine admirers of Neves and might be interested in a January deal.

They are preparing to offload Kalvin Phillips in the winter window and a player of Neves’ pedigree would represent a significant upgrade on the former Leeds United man.

If Premier League clubs vote to prevent Newcastle from taking Neves on loan, given they share an ownership structure with Al-Hilal and would theoretically be circumventing Financial Fair Play rules by signing him that way, then Man City could move into pole position for him.

A move would enable Neves to link up once again with Matheus Nunes, who he played with for Wolves last season before they were both sold.

Nunes was one of two new midfielders Man City invested in after their treble win – the other being Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea – but there could be room for another reinforcement if a fringe player like Phillips makes way.

Man City would also be able to present Neves with a platform in the Champions League for the first time since his last season at Porto (2016-17).

The report claims there is a belief that Neves would fit in well with Pep Guardiola’s style of play. It is not explicitly clear if the Premier League champions would want him on loan or a permanent deal.

Neves could be worth £60m still

In our exclusive on Thursday, we revealed that Al-Hilal could let Neves go on loan with an option to buy for around £60m, which would give them a profit of more than £10m.

By doing so, though, Neves would miss out on some rich loyalty bonuses in his lucrative contract in Saudi Arabia.

With Euro 2024 on the horizon, though, competing at a decent level will be at the forefront of his mind – and Man City would certainly represent a step up.

In addition to Nunes and Kovacic, existing midfielders Neves might be competing with at Man City include Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and the currently injured Kevin De Bruyne.

During his previous spell in English football, which began when Wolves were in the Championship, Neves scored 30 goals from 253 appearances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *