Arsenal have been told that Al-Hilal midfielder Ruben Neves would be a “perfect” January signing, but the Gunners may be forced to look elsewhere.

Mikel Arteta and transfer chief Edu have reportedly pinpointed the middle of the pitch as an area for improvement, with the former Wolves star said to be one of their targets at £47million.

Injuries to Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard have seen Kai Havertz, Fabio Vieira and Jorginho often drafted into the midfield three with Declan Rice to various degrees of success. Another strong midfield option would certainly be an attractive proposition to Arteta, prompting links with Neves.

The Portuguese playmaker has only been in Saudi Arabia for a few months following his £47million move to Al-Hilal in June, but is already being talked about with a return to the Premier League. Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell believes that the Gunners should reignite their long-standing interest in the 26-year-old who he says would be “perfect” for the club.

“We’ve been linked with him for a number of seasons haven’t we? Considering his age and how good he is it’s one that makes perfect sense,” Campbell told Highbury Squad.

“He’s young enough, he’s good enough to play a lot of games in there for us. I think this is a good move. Newcastle will try to manoeuvre something, but this is a good move for a quality midfielder.”

Newcastle have also been linked with Neves and may have an advantage as they share the same owners as Al-Hilal. The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund controls both teams and the Premier League recently failed to push through a motion to ban related-party loans, allowing Eddie Howe’s side to attempt to loan Neves as a replacement for the suspended Sandro Tonali.

But despite interest from England, The Athletic have claimed that Neves is not expected to leave Saudi Arabia in January. He is happy and settled in the Middle East, playing a crucial role under Jorge Jesus with his side four points clear at the top of the Pro League despite losing Neymar to a long-term injury.