Away from obvious suspects Real Madrid and Barcelona, midfielder Gabri Veiga is setting La Liga alight with Celta Vigo and attracting attention from some of the Premier League’s wealthiest names. In excellent form, it’s easy to see why.
Spanish outlet Diario AS has already reported Saudi Arabia-backed Newcastle United’s interest in the 20-year-old playmaker, with monied big hitters Arsenal and Manchester United supposedly keeping tabs (Spanish) on the Galician, too.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has since backed this up, though there is no clear indication that England’s elite clubs will table an immediate offer. The Celta graduate is still honing his craft under coach Carlos Carvalhal and has more to prove before something more concrete materializes.
It won’t be long, though. With virtually boundless funds, Newcastle has the financial strength to become a power in the transfer market. Yet to spend wildly, it could soon target a name like Veiga to future-proof success. However, a move to Arsenal would perhaps be the best fit, with the youngster a good fit with coach and fellow countryman Mikel Arteta’s passing game. Looking to make the next step in its rebuild, Manchester United ought to step up its pursuit.
Netting four times in his last four La Liga outings, Veiga is hitting peak form. According to Olocip—which uses artificial intelligence to draw soccer insights—he’s been the most successful Spaniard in the division (Spanish) since the World Cup ended. That is despite playing for a mid-table Celta team and never making a senior appearance for Spain.
More suitors across the continent will take note if he sustains this form. Charting his progress is a preliminary berth in Luis de la Fuente’s Spain squad as he prepares an overhaul before qualification for the next European Championships starts later this month. As it stands, Spain needs to begin building its team around fresh, younger faces to reverse its fortunes at major tournaments.
Veiga is a nifty, intelligent player who usually operates in central positions, much like the former Real Madrid player Isco. Having never played outside Vigo—and from nearby town O Porriño—he’s Celta through and through. He’s also a trained journalist and first developed his soccer skills by kicking pumpkins in his formative days (Spanish), as per a recent report in El Mundo.
Celta is not inclined to sell him, at least not for now. Veiga’s contract ends in 2026. And he could become indispensable to the team in coming seasons, with prolific striker Iago Aspas’ top-level career gradually slowing down and the need for someone to take over the mantle critical to its success in La Liga longer-term.
That said, an attractive offer would be hard for Celta to refuse. Rare is a team outside the typical Champions League places able to set a heavy price tag. In this case, it should demand approximately €40 million ($43 million), if not more.
Veiga is the perfect example, but it has other homegrown options coming through one of Spain’s best academies outside the Clásico pair—alongside Athletic Club and Real Sociedad. Hugo Sotelo—for whom it has high hopes—is one. And Celta will produce more talented players, as it has with Aspas and the defensive dynamo Stefan Bajcetic, now at Liverpool.
It’s too early to say whether Veiga would thrive in England or any elite club. Or if he wants to. His impressive form has lasted for weeks rather than many months, and he has a long-standing connection with his local team, where he’s starting to make a difference.
The deciding factor may be the opportunity to compete for trophies. 13th at the time of writing, Celta is only four points away from the relegation zone and a fanciful bet to qualify in European competition. If buyers continue to circle and Veiga desires a new challenge, he won’t be easy to keep at Balaídos.
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