Both Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, who’s played 28 Premier League games this term and won 26 senior caps for Portugal
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Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Ruben Neves, despite Wolves manager Bruno Lage slapping a £100million price tag on the Portuguese midfielder.
Several top European sides are believed to be interested in Neves, 25, after helping Wolves push for European football this season. They’re currently eighth in the Premier League, two points behind Manchester United in seventh – the final continental spot.
Neves has been an integral part of Wolves’ midfield since arriving from Porto in July 2017, winning the Championship title in his first season. He’s played more than 200 games for the club and become a regular at international level, picking up 26 caps to date.
As reported by Sky Sports, Neves has emerged as one of Arsenal’s top transfer targets. Man Utd and Tottenham – as well as Spanish giants Barcelona – are the other teams linked with the midfielder. He has two years remaining on his existing deal.
Arsenal are said to be looking for a new long-term central midfielder to partner Thomas Partey. There are question marks over Granit Xhaka’s future, who continues to be linked with Roma. Aston Villa ace Douglas Luiz is another reported target.
And, according to The Sun, Wolves are already preparing for life without Neves. It’s believed they’ve identified Martim Neto as a potential replacement – a 19-year-old who is yet to make a senior appearance for Portuguese giants Benfica.
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Arsenal were linked with Neves last summer before extending Xhaka’s contract. Sky Sports claim Wolves value the midfielder at between £50m and £60m, yet Lage recently insisted he could be worth up to £100m.
“I don’t know if it’s Man Utd or other teams, what I know is we have a special player here with us,” said Lage. “What he is doing this season is very good. I think also the way we play, he can show a better Ruben, and also the way he plays puts our team on a different level.
“When you have that player, the best thing to do is improve his salary and years of contract. But who knows, when you have a top player like him in that specific position, that can defend and attack, and is a top professional and a great man, the big teams are there with £100m to buy these kinds of players.”
Discussing Neves’ form last month, Gary Neville said: “He is a top, top player. He had that little bit of a bad period under Nuno [Espirito Santo] where he was sort of in and out of the team, but him and [Joao] Moutinho have been sensational.”
Former Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiere, meanwhile, has urged the Gunners to sign Neves. “I think Neves would be a great addition,” he said last month. “I think he’s a top player.
“You need somebody that’s going to get the ball and bring it forward, and get more involved in the team play in the final third. That’s why I think Ruben Neves would be brilliant. Obviously he’s got that shot from outside the box as well, which is something I think Arsenal is lacking.”