Newcastle is trailing Liverpool in the competition to capture a phenomenally talented star on a January move.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp might have to witness one of his transfer targets joining a Premier League rival, as Newcastle United has shown interest in acquiring the talented Spain U21 player Gabri Veiga.

During the summer, Liverpool was eager to secure the services of this playmaker as part of their midfield rebuilding efforts. There were even speculations that former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, who is now managing Celta Vigo, might facilitate a deal between the two clubs for Veiga.

However, Liverpool missed out on signing Veiga, as he surprisingly opted to join Saudi Arabian club Al Ahli. This move was unconventional, as most players heading to the Middle East are usually in the later stages of their careers, but Veiga is only 21 years old.

Veiga clarified that his decision to move to Al Ahli wasn’t solely driven by financial incentives. He was enticed by the opportunity to play alongside outstanding players like Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and former Manchester City star Riyad Mahrez, among others.

Gabri Veiga 2022/23 Crazy Skills, Assists & Goals - Celta de Vigo | HD -  YouTube

Veiga has already made nine appearances for Al Ahli, providing two assists but is yet to score a goal.

Now, it appears that Veiga’s stay in the Saudi Pro League may be short-lived. Reports suggest that he is on Newcastle’s radar as they seek to replace Sandro Tonali, who is facing a 10-month betting ban. Newcastle is reportedly ready to make deals with Saudi teams in January, thanks to the involvement of the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF).

According to reports emerging from Spain, Newcastle has identified Veiga as a suitable candidate to replace Tonali in their starting lineup.

While Veiga seems content in Saudi Arabia, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has expressed his interest in bringing the young midfielder to the Premier League. Interestingly, both Newcastle and Al Ahli share the same owners, which is expected to facilitate an agreement. It’s possible that Newcastle could secure Veiga on an initial loan deal with the option to buy if he performs well. The Magpies are also considering former Wolves captain Ruben Neves, who currently plays for Al Ahli’s rivals, Al Hilal.

Liverpool might have been planning to make another attempt to sign Veiga in 2024, having missed out on him during the summer. Klopp, who is a big admirer of Veiga, is likely to make the player a prime target for Liverpool next summer. However, Liverpool faces a serious risk of losing out to Newcastle, who are considering a January move to St James’ Park.

In the meantime, Newcastle is leading the race to sign a Santos player, with competition from major European teams like Sevilla and Porto, according to reports.

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