Portugal star Ruben Neves played a key role in Wolves' promotion to the Premier League.
Manchester United’s struggles in the early stages of the new Premier League season have largely been a continuation of what was a frustrating summer of transfer dealings for manager Jose Mourinho. And due to this, the Portuguese has now turned his attentions to Wolves star Ruben Neves.
That is according to the Metro, who claim that United are set to step into battle with neighbors Manchester City; should the champions seek to secure the services of midfielder Neves from Wolves in the near future.
It is said that a £60m move could be on the cards for either Manchester side, with both clubs and their respective managers holding strong interest in Wolves’ star man. Neves was the heartbeat of his side as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side gained promotion to the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho is apparently a big admirer of his compatriot, and was keen to see how the midfielder adapted in his step up to the Premier League. With Paul Pogba’s future at Old Trafford seemingly up in the air, United could well be in the market for a new midfielder.
Summer signing Fred is showing signs of struggling to adapt to life in the English top flight and, with fears that Guardiola’s City could also be lining up a move for Neves, it is said that Mourinho could be forced into moving in on the Portuguese star sooner than he had planned.
Such is his apparent admiration of Neves, Mourinho would likely push for swift move for the midfielder to keep him from the grasp of neighbours City, should the champions decide to press ahead with their own interest in the 21-year-old.
It is said that City are themselves considering midfield transfer targets, having missed out on the signing of Jorginho to Chelsea in the summer, and failing to secure a ‘plan B’ signing before the summer deadline.
Guardiola is also apparently keen to secure a long-term replacement for Fernandinho - a vital cog in the City engine room - and Neves’ distribution skills from a deep-lying midfield position apparently fit the bill.
With the current City stars Ederson, Nicolas Otamendi and Bernardo Silva all sharing the same agent as Neves - Jorge Mendes - there is an apparent sense that Guardiola’s side could use their connections with the super-agent to broker a deal.
Mendes also represents United boss Mourinho, however, and the Portuguese could use his agent to a similar advantage; given his apparent eagerness to secure a player that he has long admired.
Neves has, however, only just entered the five years of a new deal that he recently signed at Molineux, meaning that Wolves are under no pressure to sell their prized asset.
A figure in the region of £60m would surely test the Premier League new boys’ resolve, and it is said that Jorge Mendes’ influence at the club is of such standing that the agent’s involvement in any deal could be the decisive factor in Neves’ future.