Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has completed a £47m move to Saudi Arabia for a club-record transfer fee. The 26-year-old’s contract at Molineux was scheduled to expire next summer, and Manchester United have previously been linked to him throughout transfer seasons. His transfer to the Saudi Pro League squad, however, is now official. The Portuguese midfielder played 253 times and scored 30 goals during his six seasons at Molineux. Neves played 35 times for Wolves in the 2022–23 Premier League, scoring six goals and assisting one.
“No other player has made as much impact on the pitch in gold and black over the past six years with more than 250 appearances in a record run in the club’s history,” Wolves said in a statement after Ruben Neves completed his move to Al Hilal. “The first sign of what would happen in that second-tier winning season was Neves’ historic transfer from Champions League-contending Porto to the Championship lights of the Black Country. This helped lay the groundwork for the Wolves, as they are now known throughout the world.”
In July 2017, Neves relocated to Wolves from Porto. The most well-known player to transfer to the Saudi Pro League is his international colleague Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Al Nassr in December of last year. This month, Al Ittihad has already acquired Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante on free transfers. The group is under the direction of Nuno Espirito Santo, a former Wolves manager.
“We at Wolves would all like to express our gratitude to Ruben for everything that he has done for the team over his six years with us. For his efforts and commitment both on the pitch and off it,” Wolves sporting director Matt Hobbs said. “Ruben exemplifies all the traits you should be searching for in football recruits: a leader, a modest person, and a talented footballer who propelled Wolves to greater heights. He was a great player for this squad during his time on the pitch and will go down as one of our all-time best players. We are grateful for everything he has done for Wolves and give our best wishes for the future to him and his family.”
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