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Arsenal and Manchester United have been given a boost in their pursuit of Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves after learning that the Portuguese star would reportedly prefer to stay in England. Neves has been linked with a transfer to both clubs, who are hoping to boost their respective midfield options in the summer.
The 25-year-old has been one of Wolves’ best players since their promotion in 2018. He performed well under Nuno Espirito Santo before raising his game to an even better level this season with Bruno Lage.
Wolves’ recent dip in form has coincided with Neves being absent for around six weeks with a knee injury. The Midlands outfit have won just one of their last four games, compounded by last weekend’s 3-0 home defeat by Brighton.
Lage’s side remain on course to finish in the top half of the Premier League. They have gained 49 points from 35 games, despite their 15 defeats, although they face Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool among their final four fixtures.
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But Wolves face a major battle keeping star man Neves in the summer. Arsenal are widely reported to have made the Portugal international their top midfield target, while Man Utd also harbour an interest.
The Daily Mail claim that Neves would prefer to stay in England, handing the duo a major boost. It gives them an advantage over Barcelona and Juventus, who are also keeping tabs on Neves.
The former Porto prospect is also reportedly keen to play in the Champions League, which could give Arsenal the upper hand over United. Mikel Arteta’s side have created a two-point safety net in their quest for fourth place, with north London rivals Tottenham breathing down their neck. United are five points away from Arsenal and have also played a game more.
Wolves boss Bruno Lage last week valued Neves at £100m, but it is believed that the club would not demand such an astronomical fee. It is likely that they would accept closer to £70m.
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He said last week: “We need to be ready for everything, especially if you’re a club like Wolves. We’re the kind of club that cannot lose a big opportunity.
“These top players like Ruben Neves have a value of £100m. We need to be aware of everything, anything can happen, not just with Ruben but with any position.”
He added: “He’s an important player but we need to wait for an offer and we need to wait to understand what will really happen. Something that is good for the club, good for the player, and then we will make a decision.
“If you ask me if I want to work with Ruben, yes. If you ask the player if he wants to work for me, for sure, he will say yes. But this is football and you never know what can happen the next day.”
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