Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves has been heavily linked with a move away in recent years and his latest comments suggest a move could be in the offing
Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves admits he would be open to leaving Molineux this summer amid long-term interest from Manchester United and Arsenal.
The Portuguese midfielder has spent the past five seasons at Wolves and was part of the side who helped the Old Gold get promotion to the Premier League in the 2017/18 campaign. He has played in 141 of Wolves’ 152 top-flight matches in the last four seasons.
The 25-year-old, who has 26 senior caps for Portugal, has been heavily linked with transfer interest for much of his time in the West Midlands since signing from Porto, with both Manchester United and Arsenal keen on the midfielder.
Now, both clubs and any other sides keen on a move for Neves will have been put on alert following his latest comments. Speaking after Wolves’ 3-1 loss to Liverpool on Sunday, Neves admits that he has loved his time at Molineux but conceded that players like him cannot ignore the opportunities that may come their way.
“Everyone knows about what football is about, what our lives are about,” Neves said post-game. “Our careers are really short, we need to take the opportunities we have. Of course, all of us have dreams and we need to live those dreams in a short space of time. Let’s see what happens. I cannot say too much about it.”
While Wolves have had a first season under Bruno Lage full of inconsistency, a tenth-placed finish saw them miss out on European football by only five points. However, given how highly Neves has performed throughout his half-decade in the West Midlands, he is unlikely to be short of interest, especially given his recent comments.
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Neves first joined Wolves as a 20-year-old and while in England, has seen the birth of all three of his children, who have grown up in Wolverhampton, making any decision for him to leave potentially more difficult.
“This club means everything for me, for my family,” added Neves. “My kids grew up in Wolverhampton; I have three kids, they were all born when I was here. That means a lot to me and the people mean a lot to me because they really helped me to settle here. For me, for my family, everyone is really important.
“If I go it would be really hard for me and my family. But, as I told you, we have dreams to live in a short space of time. And if anything happens, that’s why I was so emotional the last game at home because I don’t know how it’s going to be. If it was my last game it was really important.
“But I don’t know anything yet. So, for now, I’m just thinking of my holidays and the national team.”
While Neves’ season with Wolves is over, he does still have international football with Portugal to prepare for before his summer break. Portugal play the first four of their group matches in the latest edition of the UEFA Nations League, taking on Spain (June 2), Switzerland (June 5), Czech Republic (June 9) and finishing with a return meeting with Switzerland (June 12).
United and Arsenal are both likely to be in the market for new midfield options this summer. Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba are all set to leave the Red Devils on free transfers in the coming weeks, while Mohamed Elneny’s contract at the Emirates Stadium is also set to run out, with Mikel Arteta tight-lipped on his future.