Transfer Talk: United eye Neves as six chase Coutinho
Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has emerged as a top target for Manchester United.
The Sun report that Old Trafford chiefs, who have monitored the 24-year-old’s progress closely for some time, are ready to test the waters with a £35million bid this month.
Neves is thought to be happy at Molineux but has previously expressed his desire to play Champions League football.
The Portuguese international has over two years left on his current deal and it is thought that Wolves will hold out for at least £40m for their talisman should a bid arrive.
Arsenal have also held a long-term interest in the playmaker but the Red Devils are willing to act quickly as they look to arrest their disappointing recent form.
New boss Ralf Rangnick has been unimpressed by performances from the likes of Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred and is keen to bolster his midfield options.
Neves’ agent Jorge Mendes also represents his countryman Cristiano Ronaldo, which offers United a boost should they manage to agree a fee.
When quizzed about his future in December, Neves remained coy about the situation by saying: "The future will be seen soon.
"I like to live in the present and I'm happy, I feel great in Wolverhampton and I'll focus here, because if I do things right I'm sure the future will be bright."
Villa out to Phil their boots
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard is hopeful that his strong relationship with former team-mate Philippe Coutinho can help lure the Brazilian to the Midlands.
Villa are keen on a loan deal for the wantaway Barcelona star, 29, who Gerrard played alongside at Liverpool for two-and-a-half years.
But Sky Sports say they are keen to avoid a bidding war with no fewer than six Premier League clubs interested in signing the midfielder.
Though no side is thought to be in pole position currently, the playmaker is keen to return to England where he enjoyed great success during his five-year Anfield stint.
Barcelona made slashed out over £140m to bring Coutinho to the Camp Nou in January 2018 but his time in Spain has not been successful.
Now, four years on, both Coutinho and Barca are ready to part ways and the LaLiga giants are said to be open to both loan proposals and permanent deals.
Getting Coutinho’s hefty salary off the books is a priority for the Catalan club having recently acquired Manchester City forward Ferran Torres for a fee that could rise to £55m.
Despite a glut of summer signings, Villa have struggled to replace the creative contribution of former captain Jack Grealish since his summer switch to the Citizens.
Coutinho, who netted 41 goals in his 152 Premier League appearances for Liverpool, is someone Gerrard firmly believes can fill that void.
In other news
The future of Everton full-back Lucas Digne remains up in the air but Newcastle will not be the Frenchman’s next destination, according to Fabrizio Romano.
Chelsea remain interested in Digne but have yet to launch a formal bid, while West Ham are keen but cannot afford his £100k-per-week wages as per the Daily Mail.
The Sun suggest that Tottenham and Arsenal are ready to fight it out for Brighton’s flying wing-back Tariq Lamptey, though a deal may be more likely to take place in the summer.
England Under-21s international Lamptey has impressed since returning from a hamstring issue and the Seagulls value him at £50m.
Lazio are looking to take advantage of Divock Origi’s expiring contract at Liverpool by landing him for a cut-price fee this month.
The Belgian forward, 26, is set to depart Anfield this summer and the Reds are keen to secure a fee rather than lose him for nothing according to reports in Italy.