Manchester United and Liverpool could be set to rival each other for the signing of Ruben Neves in the summer, with Wolves reportedly resigned to seeing the 26-year-old leave Molineux at the end of the season. Neves has been a mainstay for Wolves since their promotion to the Premier League back in 2018 but is facing an uncertain future as he approaches the final year of his contract, which is set to expire at the end of next season as things stand.
Neves has been heavily linked with the likes of United and Liverpool for some time and both clubs are said to have been keeping close tabs on his development in the west Midlands over the last few years. Nothing has materialised in terms of a sale as of yet but it seems as though could finally be about to change, with The Mirror claiming that Wolves are reluctantly willing to let Neves seek a new challenge away from Molineux when the campaign draws to a close.
It is said that offers for Neves will be listened to by Wolves in the summer months, although they would much rather let him go to a foreign side than one of their Premier League rivals. The relationship between player and club is believed to remain strong, though, with Neves unlikely to kick up a fuss if he is denied a move elsewhere ahead of next season.
There was an expectation at Wolves that Neves would leave prior to the start of the current campaign, although they were eventually able to hang onto the Portuguese maestro for at least another year. If the same happens again in the summer there is said to be a chance that Neves could go on to sign a contract extension in September in order to protect Wolves against losing him on a free transfer in 2024.
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United and Liverpool will likely be hoping to strike a deal this summer as a result of the situation, with both clubs eager to improve their midfield ranks when the bidding opens at the end of the season. However, they could reportedly face stiff competition from Barcelona and Real Madrid in the battle to land Neves and it remains to be seen whether he would prefer the idea of a move to Spain over the prospect of staying in the Premier League.
Neves was reportedly looked at by United last summer before the Red Devils went on to sign Casemiro from Real Madrid, although former Old Trafford hero Dimitar Berbatov recently insisted that Erik ten Hag would be smarter to look elsewhere given the profiles of the midfielders already at his disposal.
He told Betfred: “Where would Ruben Neves play if he went to Manchester United? You have Christian Eriksen, you have Bruno Fernandes and in my opinion Ruben Neves is similar to those two players who’re already at Manchester United. Buying players for the sake of buying is never a good option in my opinion.
“Some players are happy to come to a club and be a squad player but there are other players who demand to play all the time. When you don’t have a big enough name, then demanding to play all of the time is going to be much harder. If you’re a player with a major reputation, then it’s easier for you to play straight away when you move to a big club, but at the same time you need to prove that you’re still a major player. I don’t believe Ruben Neves will move to Manchester United.”
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