Fabrizio Romano explains why Arsenal did not sign Ruben Neves

The Portuguese midfielder was a star at Wolves and was linked to almost every big club in the Premier League. Arsenal were one of them, and Romano has confirmed now that the Gunners held talks with his agent.

Arsenal were in the market for new midfielders in last summer’s transfer window. They brought in Declan Rice from West Ham United and Kai Havertz from Chelsea, but Mikel Arteta had his eye on one more player in the middle of the park.

Ruben Neves revealed this week that he came close to signing for Arsenal last year, but that transfer failed to materialise. He ended up moving to Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia for £47 million (Sky Sports).

Now, Fabrizio Romano has revealed why Arsenal did not sign Neves. The journalist claims that the Gunners only wanted the Portuguese midfielder as a replacement for Thomas Partey.

After it was confirmed that the Ghana international was going nowhere, Arsenal ended talks with Neves.

Speaking about Neves’ comments, Romano said on his Daily Briefing: “To clarify what this means here, Barcelona had an agreement with Neves on personal terms. Arsenal asked his agent about a potential move, but it was less advanced than Barca.

“In the end, it didn’t happen because Wolves only wanted to sell for a fee in excess of €40m and the best proposal was from Al Hilal.

“The money was the issue – it was impossible for Barcelona to complete with this offer, and Arsenal decided to leave talks as it emerged that Thomas Partey would be staying.”