Transfer Talk: Giants lurk as Neves waves goodbye to Wolves
Ruben Neves appeared to be waving goodbye to Wolves fans yesterday — leaving Manchester United and Barcelona on red alert.
Midfield maestro Neves, 25, has developed into a talismanic figure for the West Midlands outfit since his 2017 arrival from Porto.
He helped the men from Molineux to an emphatic Championship title win in his first season, before playing a starring role in securing three top-half finishes in the last four Premier League campaigns.
Yet for all those successes, yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Norwich ended hopes of European football next season and an emotional Neves was seen waving to supporters at full-time in tears.
United have expressed an interest in the Portuguese international in previous seasons and the Mirror claim the Red Devils will play their part in any imminent bidding war.
Incoming boss Erik ten Hag is expected to lose Paul Pogba from his central midfield options with the out-of-contract Frenchman linked heavily to former club Juventus.
Nemanja Matic will also end a five-year stint at Old Trafford this summer, making strengthening options in the middle of the park a near certainty.
Barca are also keen however and Spanish outlet Sport claim Neves is attracted by the prospect of playing at the Camp Nou.
The LaLiga giants view him as more affordable than Real Sociedad star Martin Zubimendi or Monaco youngster Aurelien Tchouameni.
Having struck a loan deal last summer for speedster Adama Traore, relations between the two clubs are strong and a player swap is not entirely off the table.
Youngsters Abde Ezzalzouli, Nico Gonzalez, Alejandro Balde, Riqui Puig and Oscar Mingueza could all be sent to Molineux on loan or permanent deals in order to make a move for Neves happen.
In other news
Aston Villa are firmly in the mix to sign ex-Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, 35, when his Atletico Madrid contract expires next month, though Fichajes claim they will face competition from Inter Milan and Sevilla.
Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has told media in France that a decision on his future is "almost made" and that an announcement is imminent, amid reports linking the 23-year-old with Real Madrid.
Newcastle will move for Reims striker Hugo Ekitike again this summer after missing out on the 19-year-old in January, though transfer guru Fabrizio Romano says Borussia Dortmund are also keen.