Arsenal have reportedly opened negotiations with Wolves to bring Ruben Neves to the Emirates to replace Granit Xhaka.
According to Portuguese publication Record, Arsenal have opened dialogue over Ruben Neves’s transfer to the Emirates. The report suggests the North London side could begin negotiations with the Midlands club over fees and further could talk shop with the player himself as they seek a viable replacement for Granit Xhaka.
A deal for Xhaka to move elsewhere has not been finalised yet, with AS Roma thought to be his preferred destination. Both clubs are on the table negotiating a reasonable price for the Swiss international. Still, the midfielder will certainly depart Arsenal in the coming weeks, leaving them to search for a proper replacement.
Ruben Neves had been first linked sometime over a month ago, but those links went cold as Arsenal pursued alternate targets as Wolves refused to lower their asking price. The Gunners have shown keen interest in Manuel Locatelli but are resigned to losing him to Juventus, a club the player himself prefers over others.
Other targets include Renato Sanches, but his price could also go up following the advent of Liverpool’s interest. Houssem Aouar is also on the radar, although the Frenchman is considered for an attacking midfielder position. Such a market frenzy has led Arsenal setting their sights back on Neves, and they could firm up their interest in the Portuguese.
Wolves boss Bruno Lage understands the importance of Neves in the team and hence would like a reasonable transfer fee. Lage would like to use some of that money to bring in a replacement, but Wolves are asking for a price between £35 million and £40 million for the 24-year-old.
Arsenal consider this price a bit expensive for Neves, negotiating with Wolves to bring it substantially down. The Gunners’ cap over the Portuguese international’s fee remains unclear, but it certainly is not what their counterparts are asking for.
Mikel Arteta will be hoping his club wrap up major transfer business as quickly as possible to have the group for pre-season. Arsenal will prepare for the Premier League in what will be a season without European football. A new midfielder will have a major part to play next term, and Arsenal hope it will be Neves.