Journalist Pete O’Rourke has provided an update on Ruben Neves’ future ahead of the new season.
What’s the latest transfer news involving Ruben Neves?
The 24-year-old has been linked with a move to Manchester United and Arsenal throughout this summer.
However, O’Rourke feels that the Red Devils may now hold the upper hand in their pursuit of Neves following this week’s developments.
What has O’Rourke said about Neves?
O’Rourke told The Football Terrace that with Granit Xhaka on the verge of committing his long-term future to Arsenal, this could open the door for United to make their move for Neves.
He said: “United definitely are interested in him, and they’ve probably received a boost this week in their pursuit of Neves. We all know that Arsenal were very keen on the Portugal international as well but now it seems with Granit Xhaka set to stay at the Emirates, I think that probably kills off Arsenal’s chances of landing Neves.
“I don’t think they can have Neves and Xhaka in the same midfield, Arsenal are looking for a bit more of a creative midfielder so that clears the path for Man United to step up their interest in Neves. It seems like the possible only option that Neves would have to move to another Premier League club would be to move to Manchester United, and I think Wolves would find it pretty hard to turn down a sizeable offer for the midfielder right now.
“You’re probably talking around £30-£35m. I think if Man United were to put that up on the table for Wolves, I think a deal could possibly happen here. Neves, although he’s giving out the right signals that he’s focused on the new season, he’s happy at Wolves, he isn’t going to turn down the chance to go to Old Trafford. I think that would be something that he would jump at right now.”
To hear everything that O’Rourke said about Neves, listen to the video below…
Would Neves be a better option for Arsenal than Xhaka?
He could well be.
The Wolves man, who has 22 caps for Portugal, is four years younger than Xhaka, so arguably has more room for improvement over the coming years than the Swiss international.
Neves also netted more goals than Xhaka (5 to 1), registered more tackles per game (2.4 to 1.6) and more interceptions per match (1.8 to 0.8) last season (via WhoScored).
This indicates that he is already outperforming Xhaka in a number of departments, and he may not even be at his peak yet.
What does Neves offer United’s starting XI?
If he did move to Old Trafford, Neves would be an option for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a deep-lying midfield role.
This has been a problematic position for United in recent years, with the likes of Fred, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic failing to convince that they are the long-term solution to this issue.
Neves has now been playing in the Premier League for the last three years, suggesting that he would take little time to adapt to life in Manchester, and could be an important player for United moving forwards.