Fans slam 'FFP loophole' as Newcastle 'seek Saudi loan' for Ruben Neves

 Ruben Neves is poised to complete a big-money transfer from Wolves to Saudi side Al Hilal, with a loan move to PIF-owned Newcastle already being mooted

Fans slam 'FFP loophole' as Newcastle 'seek Saudi loan' for Ruben Neves

Fans have reacted with outrage after Newcastle were linked with an audacious move for Ruben Neves – following his transfer to Saudi Arabia.

The Wolves midfielder is poised to become the latest high-profile player to move to the Middle East, where he is expected to join Al Hilal. Neves, who only has a year left on his Wolves contract, is expected to seal a £47million transfer shortly.

Karim Benzema completed a free transfer to Al Ittihad this month and Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has joined him, while Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al Nassr in December.

But Neves, 26, would be one of the first top players to make the Saudi switch while in his peak years, and there is already speculation over his next move, with a return to England being mooted.

According to Football Insider, Newcastle have discussed the possibility of signing Neves on a long-term loan, possibly for up to two years. Al Hilal are owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), who have an 80% stake in the Magpies. PIF are also set to take over fellow clubs Al Ittihad, Al Ahli, Al Nassr.

The suggestion that Neves could join Newcastle has already sparked an outcry among some fans, who reckon it would merely be a cunning way for the north-east club to circumnavigate financial fair play (FFP) rules. “Ways around FFP, scandalous,” said one fan.

Another pointed out: “This isn't a Premier League or UEFA problem, this is a FIFA problem. If they were so quick to close the contract length loophole. They can easily bring in a rule that doesn't allow players to move to a new club and go out loan to another club in the same transfer window.”

A fourth added: “Uh huh… so Wolves refused to sell the player to Newcastle directly and they can do it this way. Wow.” Another commented: “This Saudi to Chelsea, and Saudi to Newcastle triangle was bound to happen.”

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