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Barcelona could be edging closer to the signing of Wolves midfield mainstay Ruben Neves, who is also a transfer target for Manchester United.
According to SPORT, Barcelona are emerging as the frontrunners to sign Wolves and Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves in the summer transfer window, thanks to their strong relationship with super-agent Jorge Mendes. The 25-year-old star is also a target for Premier League side Manchester United.
Neves is set to complete his fifth season at Wolves, having signed from FC Porto in the summer of 2017, when they were still in the EFL Championship. Having helped the Black Country outfit earn promotion in his debut season in England, the Portuguese has established himself as one of the most reliable midfielders in the Premier League since.
To date, Neves has made 211 appearances for Wolves, bagging 24 goals and 12 assists. The 25-year-old has been a top performer for Bruno Lage’s men, but he may have run his course at the Molineux and could be set for the next step in his career with many big clubs eyeing his signing, including Barcelona and Manchester United.
Barcelona are in the market for a new defensive midfielder as they look to secure a long-term replacement for club captain Sergio Busquets. The veteran star has no cover in his position currently, and is entering the final phase of his career. So, the Blaugrana must put a succession plan in place for the Spanish international.
Barcelona, to that end, have identified three options in the form of Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad, Aurelien Tchouameni of AS Monaco and Neves. However, Zubimendi will cost the Catalan giants €60 million, while signing Tchouameni could also prove to be an expensive operation due to competition from Real Madrid and clubs from the Premier League. Neves, as a result, has emerged as a top target for Barça.
Manchester United, too, are interested in signing Neves from Wolves as they seek to add a top-quality midfielder to their ranks with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic set to depart at the end of the season. However, as per the report, the Red Devils are yet to take a concrete step in their efforts to sign Neves, which could leave Barcelona as the frontrunners for his signing.
It further claims that the Portuguese international is leaning towards playing for the Catalan giants. In addition, their relationship with his agent, Jorge Mendes, could also work in Barcelona’s favour. While Wolves are said to be demanding a large sum for their mainstay, the report states Mendes can convince them to lower their valuation.
In addition to that, the super-agent is also trying to facilitate a player-plus-cash deal involving one of several Barcelona youngsters. Wolves are said to be interested in midfield starlet Nico Gonzalez, while there are links to Riqui Puig, Alejandro Balde, Ez Abde and Oscar Mingueza as well.
All factors considered, Barcelona are getting closer to the signing of Neves, thanks to Mendes. And unless Manchester United make a formal approach for the 25-year-old, they look poised to miss out on his signing this summer.
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