Newcastle free to sign Saudi superstars as Premier League fail to block controversial transfer rule by ONE VOTE


NEWCASTLE CAN sign players on loan from the Saudi Pro League next month after an attempt to block the controversial move fell one vote short.

Prem chief wanted a temporary change to rules on “associated party transactions” which would have prevented Toon boss Eddie Howe from filling the void left by Sandro Tonali’s 10-month gambling ban by a potential move for former Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves.

GettyNewcastle can sign players from Saudi Arabia[/caption]

PAAmanda Staveley was at the Premier League Shareholder meeting where the vote took place[/caption]

PACrystal Palace co-owner and chairman Steve Parish also attended[/caption]

PAKaren Brady represented West Ham[/caption]

GettyThe Magpies have been linked with Ruben Neves[/caption]

Formal rules would then have been drafted next summer to prevent clubs from taking advantage of existing deals with other clubs or leagues to bolster their squads.

But while the measure was backed by a majority of the 20 Prem clubs at their latest “shareholder” meeting the vote did not meet the threshold required.

Under Prem rules, no measure can be adopted without the support of two-thirds of members.

That means 14 clubs in favour.

But the vote was split 13-7, meaning the current rules will remain in place and opening the door for a move for Neves.

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It was a victory for Newcastle, who have spent the past few weeks seeking to rally opposition, arguing that Prem bosses had been too keen to accede to the requests of rival clubs.

Neves however is reportedly “really happy” in Saudi Arabia and not interested in a move to Newcastle.

It is expected that he will remain at Al-Hilal until the end of the season at least.


Newcastle however could then put their interest into some of the other stars that could fill Tonali’s spot.

Former Lazio star Sergej Milinković-Savić and Liverpool midfielder Fabinho could be options.

The two would give Howe an extra option to strengthen his midfield in Tonali’s absence.

The decision will also see Newcatsle’s chances of signing other stars who have moved to one of the PIF-owned clubs increase.

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PIF owns four clubs in the Saudi Pro League which are Al Ahli, Al Ittihad, Al Hilal and Al Nassr.

These teams boast the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Aymeric Laporte, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante on their squad lists.

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