Portuguese midfielder opens up on his failed Barcelona move


Portugal's midfielder Ruben Neves arrives for a press conference at Shahaniya Sports Club in Al Samriya, northwest of Doha on November 20, 2022 during the Qatar 2022 World Cup football tournament.
Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images

With Sergio Busquets’ departure, the pivot was one of the positions that FC Barcelona were prioritising reinforcing last summer. For this purpose, the Catalans monitored several players before deciding to bring Oriol Romeu to the club.

One of the other players who had gotten quite close to joining the Blaugranes but whose option was eventually ruled out by Barcelona was the Portuguese midfielder, Ruben Neves.

As SPORT has noted, the former Wolves midfielder appeared in an interview recently, where he confirmed that he was close to joining the Catalan club:

“I was close to three clubs, and ultimately it didn’t happen, which saddened me and helped me make the decision to go to Al Hilal.”

“I didn’t want to mention names, but Barcelona was one of the hottest and it wasn’t a lie. It was close to happening, like it did with Arsenal. Then there was another club outside of England.”

“These were events that accumulated, and then, with this golden opportunity, I had no doubts about accepting it. I was already hardened by transfers that didn’t happen.”

Last summer, there were reports claiming that Barcelona were looking to get the Portuguese midfielder and were open to making Ansu Fati a part of this deal. However, the La Masia graduate ruled out a move to Wolves, as he wanted to stay and succeed at Barcelona.

But eventually, Fati had to leave the Catalan club and joined the Premier League side Brighton on loan. Meanwhile, Ruben Neves himself went to Saudi Arabia to play with Al-Hilal along with another former Barcelona star, Neymar.

In this same interview, Neves shared how he is very happy while playing in the Middle East, and how the Saudi League can grow to become one of the most competitive tournaments in the world, but a potential move to Barcelona seems out of the question for now.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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