Transfers: Manchester United's Ruben Neves hopes boosted as Wolves reportedly eye replacement
For all the bravado coming from Wolves, there is a very real chance they end up losing Ruben Neves this summer.
Manchester United have been linked to Neves since way back in 2017 [via The Mail] when he was at Porto.
He then made the surprise move to Wolves and has since established himself as one of the league’s most reliable and creative midfield players.
The Sun last week claimed Neves is a top target for soon-to-be Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag.
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Mixed signals from Wolves
Wolves declared publicly last month they wanted to renew Neves’ contract, which expires in 2024. But the midfielder is yet to bite.
Last week manager Bruno Lage told The Express and Star that Neves was worth £100 million, a laughable fee, and one which indicates Wolves are seeking to pump up his price ahead of a summer sale.
Now The Sun report Wolves are eyeing a replacement, identifying Benfica prospect Martim Neto as a successor to Neves. The young midfielder would reportedly only cost them £10 million.
Neves’ more realistic price is anywhere in the £35-50 million price range, although there is probably a premium to be added if Manchester United are involved.
Notably, Jorge Mendes is involved in the possible Neto move. He also represents Neves, along with Cristiano Ronaldo.
If Ten Hag is serious about Neves, then it seems there is a deal to be done. Even if Neto is not the exact replacement Wolves end up with, it says something that they are on the lookout for a successor.
A player United could depend on
United are looking for a replacement for Paul Pogba this summer and Neves has many of his creative attributes with superior defensive work ability.
One area he betters Pogba in is availability. During his six seasons in the Premier League, Pogba has only played 30 games or more once, with injuries once again making it no longer possible this season even if he were to play in each remaining game.
Neves on the other hand, has started 30+ Premier League games in each of the past three reasons and is on course to do so again this year, so far featuring 28 times, 26 as a starter.