Back last summer Ruben Neves looked like he might be one of the smartest midfield additions Manchester United could possibly make. But the club felt a midfielder was not a priority, and no move was made.
A year on and a midfielder, or two, has become even more pressing of a priority than ever, with Paul Pogba scheduled to leave as a free agent.
A report from The Sun this week claims Neves is a priority transfer target for incoming manager Erik ten Hag. United could get their man eventually.
The Portuguese international has had a strong season for Wolves, where he remains under contract, yet, crucially a year closer to it’s end.
From 2021: Ruben Neves would add a different dimension to Manchester United
Neves future unclear
Wolves aim for Neves to renew his contract. Technical director Scott Sellars told the Express and Star in March that talks are planned over a possible extension, although he is wary there will be interest from clubs across Europe.
Journalist Dean Jones this week told GiveMeSport that Neves may fancy a move, commenting: “He loves Wolves, he’s loved being there. But, I do think he’s ready for the next challenge, from what I’m hearing.”
Neves’ desire to move on would be understandable, given how much time in his career he has invested into Wolves.
Now 25, Neves has seen former teammate Diogo Jota go on to win trophies with Liverpool and while United cannot currently guarantee silverware, joining the new regime under new manager Erik ten Hag could be attractive.
This season the midfielder has scored four goals and provided two assists for Wolves, who are just two points behind United in the Premier League table.
He is a rare talent based on his ability to contribute effectively in both the attacking and defensive phases of the ball, and his experience in the Premier League could be deemed extremely valuable by Ten Hag.
Neves knows international teammates Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot, and linking up with the trio ahead of the World Cup could be an attractive factor.