Man Utd and Arsenal target Neves provides major update on future

Martin Macdonald
Ruben Neves Wolves 2020/21

Manchester United and Arsenal have been dealt a slight blow in their pursuit of Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves.

The Portugal international is a wanted man this summer, having emerged as one of the most impressive central midfielders in the Premier League over the last couple of seasons.

He is able to contribute both in attack in defence, as he is usually deployed as the anchor in midfield, screening the backline while also spraying possession out to the flanks.

Neves holds a marvellous technique, too, and is capable of scoring a wonder goal or two.

For any potential suitors, it is believed he would cost in excess of £40 million.

But, the player himself has suggested a transfer isn't too likely as he is looking forward to working with new Wolves boss Bruno Lage.

"He [Lage] is a very good coach. I am really happy to work with him," he told Wolves TV.

"I spoke with a few friends when he signed for Wolves - that were players in Benfica and are good friends of mine - and they said a lot of good things about him.

"I can see it now. He's a very good coach with lots of good ideas. I think that when things are completely together, we'll be a really hard team to beat."

Man Utd or Arsenal?

Both Man Utd and Arsenal are on the lookout for a new deep-lying midfielder this season, though the position is a bit weaker for the Gunners.

Throughout the summer Arsenal have been linked with Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli.

However, the Italian prefers a transfer to Juventus, while the Bianconeri have made him their number one target for the summer window as they attempt to add some creativity to their midfield.

The lack of progress on a move for Locatelli has coincided with Granit Xhaka's apparent transfer to Roma crumbling.

Jose Mourinho wants Xhaka in the Italian capital, but the club were unwilling to meet Arsenal's asking price, which has led to Mikel Arteta revealing that Xhaka will actually stay in London this summer.

Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka

That doesn't mean Arsenal don't want to strengthen in that position, though, so Neves could still be targeted.

As for Man Utd, they remain at the mercy of what happens to Paul Pogba.

Even though the Red Devils have strengthened significantly this summer with the acquisitions of Jadon Sanco and Raphael Varane, Pogba still apparently wants to move on.

PSG are interested in a €50m deal, but they will have to sell before they can buy.

The options are to sign Neves this summer as a partner for Pogba, or as a replacement for him either this year or next year when the Frenchman's contract expires.