Why Pedro Neto could be a €93m BARGAIN transfer for Arsenal and Liverpool

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • Updated: 22 Feb 2024 20:17 GMT
  • 4 min read

Premier League sides may be forced to cash in on their best players this summer as they look to adhere to the profit and sustainability rules limiting their spending power, perhaps none more so than Wolves.

Gary O’Neill’s side narrowly avoided punishment for violating financial fair play rulings after selling more than €150 million worth of players last summer, however they may look to continue their fund raising, with Pedro Neto and Rayan Ait-Nouri among their coveted stars.

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As FootballTransfers exclusively revealed earlier this month, Wolves have put a pricetag of around €93million on Neto, while Ait-Nouri has previously attracted attention from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City after developing into a standout left-back for the Midlands side.

Should Neto be sold for the desired price, it would put the 23-year-old amongst the top 15 transfers in Premier League history, however the forward has proven to be more than worth the money with his performances this season, having bounced back from two devastating long-term injuries in his career.

Indeed, a €93m fee would still put Neto’s transfer below the likes of Antony, Mykhailo Mudryk and Jadon Sancho – having posted a higher goals and assist total than all three players combined this season.

With Liverpool and Arsenal among the sides expected to battle it out for Neto, the Portuguese international could still prove to be a shrewd acquisition to elevate both teams and help them achieve their goals.

How Ait Nouri and Neto have progressed under O’Neill at Wolves

Just two players have more Premier League assists than Neto this season and the creative winger has helped Wolves boast the most goals of any side in the bottom half of the table, while only Everton have conceded fewer times than O’Neill’s side outside the top six in part due to Ait Nouri’s defensive work.

Ait Nouri is arguably having his best season yet for Wolves, having joined the club permanently from Angers in 2020 for €11m after an initial loan spell.

While the Algerian has yet to produce a goal or an assist this season, he ranks among the strongest defensive Premier League players under the age of 23, with Tottenham’s Destiny Udogie the only defender to complete more successful tackles than the 22-year-old.

Both players still have plenty of time remaining on their respective contracts and there is said to be no guarantee that either leaves Molineux this summer as they are believed to be happy at the club.

Pedro Neto (left) and Rayan Ait Nouri have been two of the best performers for Wolves this season.
© IMAGO - Pedro Neto (left) and Rayan Ait Nouri have been two of the best performers for Wolves this season.

But with Wolves still a long way off pushing for European football, the temptation to join one of the league’s top sides could prove difficult to resist, while the prospect of a blockbuster bid could help the club continue to avoid financial penalties.

Of the pair, Neto is most likely to leave, with the Portuguese international proving to be a rare commodity as a left-footed right winger in today’s market, and Arsenal believe he could be a much-needed alternative for Bukayo Saka, who has missed just three Premier League games in nearly three seasons.

Ait Nouri could also prove an upgrade for Arsenal at left-back, while Liverpool will likely turn to Neto if Mohamed Salah leaves the club, with Saudi Arabian sides still desperate to sign him.

Although Wolves have no desire to lose two of their best players, the club know they will benefit substantially from their departures and they will ultimately face a tough task of keeping hold of their stars, having developed them into two standout performers in the Premier League.

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