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midfielder Toni Kroos has savagely branded Gabri Veiga’s expected move to the Saudi Pro League as ’embarrassing’.

Celta Vigo wonderkid Veiga was the subject of big-name interest this summer, with , and understood to have closely monitored him.

However, it initially appeared that Serie A side Napoli had won the race, though reports earlier this week suggested the deal was on the brink of collapsing.

The reason behind the stand-off has now emerged with Veiga, 21, opting for Al-Ahli. 

Indeed, according to , the playmaker was the club’s secretive top target in this window and the switch is rapidly approaching completion. 

Celta Vigo wonderkid Gabri Veiga is expected to make a shock move to the Saudi Pro League

Toni Kroos has savagely branded his surprise decision to move to Al-Ahli as ’embarrassing’

Kroos took to social media to air his thoughts on the switch and did not pull his punches

Kroos, however, has taken exception to Veiga’s shock decision to quit LaLiga for the kingdom’s riches and aimed a dig at him on social media.

Al-Ahli, based in Jeddah, have been one of the most active Saudi clubs in the market, having lured the likes of Roberto Firmino, Edouard Mendy, Allan Saint-Maximin and Franck Kessie. Their capture of Veiga, though, is especially eye-catching.

A host of players have been convinced to move over from Europe this summer, with a staggering recruitment drive fuelled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Veiga has emerged as one of the continent’s brightest talents after a superb season last time out and has also become a regular performer for Spain’s U21s.

He scored 11 goals in 36 LaLiga appearances last campaign and laid on four assists.

This season, he was introduced off the bench for Celta’s first match but found himself an unused substitute for the draw with Real Sociedad last weekend. 

Veiga was coveted by several Premier League sides including Manchester City and Chelsea

Cristiano Ronaldo moved to the kingdom to join Al-Nassr and has been joined by a host of stars

Manchester United and Newcastle were also linked with Veiga and Celta president Carlos Mourino freely admitted in March that he was powerless to stop him leaving.

‘We don’t want to sell Gabri Veiga, but they are going to buy him from us. And we can’t do anything there,’ Mourino said.

‘We know some of his offers and it is impossible to reach them.

‘There are several teams behind Gabri. Of the top 10 in the Premier League, four have asked about him.’

Notably, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez are among those to have accepted new challenges in Saudi Arabia, though all are aged in their 30s. In contrast, the promising Veiga turned 21 just a matter of months ago.

Karim Benzema also took the plunge after taking up a move to Al-Ittihad but may well find himself leaving already after falling out with boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

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JAKARTA, Aug 25 (Reuters) – United States Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stressed the importance of modernising Indonesia’s military in a meeting with its defence chief, as Washington shores up ties in Southeast Asia amid geopolitical rivalry with China.

Austin on Thursday hosted at the Pentagon Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto, a former special forces commander and political veteran who is expected to run in next year’s presidential election.

The meeting comes as Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, looks to upgrade its military and replace its ageing hardware, earmarking 134.3 trillion rupiah ($8.89 billion) this year for defence, the biggest allocation in its state budget, with a similar amount for next year.

For the past decade, Indonesia’s defence spending per capita and as a percentage of gross domestic product has been the lowest among Southeast Asia’s six emerging market economies, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) think tank.

In a statement, the Pentagon said the two countries’ defence ministers shared their mutual intention to increase defence capabilities “like fighter aircraft upgrades, new multi-role fighter aircraft, and additional fixed and rotary wing transport aircraft.”

Indonesia is seeking to upgrade its fighter jets, which currently include U.S-made F-16 and Russian Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 models.

On Monday it announced a deal to buy 24 transport helicopters from U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin for an undisclosed fee. It this month said it had bought 12 new drones from Turkish Aerospace worth $300 million.

Austin and Prabowo also said China’s expansive claims in South China Sea were “inconsistent with international law”, according to the Pentagon statement.

China claims historical sovereignty over most of the South China Sea via a U-shaped “nine-dash line” on its maps that cuts into the exclusive economic zones of five other countries, including Indonesia.

Indonesia’s defence ministry said the two countries were committed to keeping peace, security and stability in the region as well as maintaining “an open, inclusive, and rule-based order.” (Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Editing by Martin Petty)

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