Arsenal are no longer leading the race to sign Ruben Neves this summer…
What’s the word?
That’s according to talkSPORT, who claimed that Premier League rivals Manchester United are now the front-runners to seal the Portuguese midfielder’s signature before next month’s transfer deadline.
They tweeted: “BREAKING: Man Utd move ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign Ruben Neves. Wolves are willing to sell the Portugal international for a fee of £35m.”
Should Arsenal pay £35m for Neves?
Early last month, The Times first linked the Gunners with interest in the Wolves star, claiming that the North London giants had begun work on a deal to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.
It’s thought that Neves is one of several high-profile names available for transfer at Molineux this summer.
Time to act
Arsenal chief Edu Gaspar must now act if he’s to land Mikel Arteta a perfect replacement for the departing Granit Xhaka.
The long-serving Switzerland international is widely expected to join Jose Mourinho at Serie A outfit AS Roma in the very near future, with Sky Sports Italia journalist Angelo Mangiante claiming that he will link up with the squad at their Portugal pre-season base next week.
Xhaka, aside from his controversies, has been a very solid box-to-box option for the Gunners in recent seasons, often contributing with goals from midfield. Indeed, he’s found the net 13 times and provided 20 assists across 220 appearances, via Transfermarkt.
Neves has long been the orchestrator in the Midlands as he’s missed only five top-flight games in the three seasons Wolves have been back in the big time.
Across those campaigns, he has not slipped below an average of 1.6 shots, 1.6 tackles or 1.5 interceptions per game, via WhoScored, whilst there aren’t many who have scored more often from outside the penalty box than him, either.
The 6-foot beast, who is valued at £40.5m by Transfermarkt, would allow Arteta to finally sanction an exit for Xhaka and he could do so knowing that they had an experienced and long-term replacement in the 24-year-old 22-time Portuguese international.