Arsenal are reportedly in discussions with Wolves for Ruben Neves, while his agent Jorge Mendes and the Gunners’ technical director have kept communications open as well.
According to The Sun, Arsenal and Wolves are locked in talks for midfielder Ruben Neves, as Mikel Arteta seeks a quick resolution to find a replacement for Granit Xhaka. The Portuguese midfielder’s agent Jorge Mendes is thought to be in constant communication with Arsenal technical director Edu to push the deal through.
Granit Xhaka is yet to be sold, but his departure seems imminent, with the Swiss midfielder interested in moving to AS Roma. The Italian club have been unable to agree on a fee, failing to meet Arsenal’s £20 million valuations. There is a belief an understanding could be reached sooner than later, as the Gunners seek a viable replacement.
Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga is very close to completing a move to the Emirates. The Belgian is considered more of a replacement for Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira. Arteta, however, feels a more Premier League experienced midfielder is what Arsenal need in the middle to partner with Thomas Partey.
Neves’s name popped up pretty early in the window and then went somewhat cold as the Gunners explored more concrete options, such as Manuel Locatelli from Sassuolo. Now that it is clear Arsenal may not get the Italian, they appear to be refocusing their attention towards realistic targets, such as Neves.
Personal terms may not be an issue, or so is the understanding. The sticking point in the deal would be the price tag Wolves have placed on their midfielder. The asking price is reported at £35 million, while Arsenal want to pay less than that. With three years left on the Portuguese midfielder’s deal, the Midlands club will try to squeeze top value for him.
Meanwhile, other Premier League clubs have also shown an interest in Neves. Lately, his name has been linked with Manchester United, but that’s as far as it got. Tottenham’s name has come up, but Neves reportedly prefers a move to Arsenal over their North London rivals.
Neves’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is also in communication with Arsenal’s technical director, Edu, as he pushes for a deal to be completed. Arteta and Edu are impressed with Neves’s profile and are eager to close the deal but will push hard for Wolves to reduce their asking price to a reasonable sum.
Neves carries a good reputation and is vastly experienced in the Premier League. His style of play is considered vital for the Gunners’ system, and many consider him a proper long-term replacement for Xhaka and partner to Partey. However, it remains to be seen if a consensus can be reached over a reducing his £35 million valuation.