Paul Merson is urging former club Arsenal to make a move for Ruben Neves and pip Manchester United to the services of the Wolves midfielder.
Neves will be in big demand this summer after another impressive campaign for Wolves. Arsenal and United have already been linked and Wolves are bracing themselves for interest. Merson thinks Neves will leave and hopes the Emirates Stadium will be his destination.
The 25-year-old will not come cheap though and the price-tag could be too rich for the Gunners. Wolves boss Bruno Lage has just been quoted as saying he could cost as much as £100million. Maybe even more.
That would be a huge outlay on one player for both Arsenal and United. But Wolves are prepared for it.
“In these days we need to be ready for everything, especially a club like Wolves,” Lage revealed. “I’ve said before that the value of players like Ruben is £100million or above. We need to be aware of everything. We cannot lose a big opportunity.”
Neves is also under contract for another two years so Wolves are under no pressure. For now they can stand firm on their valuation and see if anyone matches it.
Tottenham are also keen and it could come down to who makes the Champions League. It is now a two-horse race for fourth spot between the Gunners and Spurs. It hots up on Sunday with Arsenal away at West Ham while Tottenham entertain Leicester.
The riches that the Champions League brings could open the door for a Neves deal. It would still be a big outlay on just one player though.
Even so Merson believes the Gunners need to make a move. The former Arsenal star was speaking on Sportskeeda when previewing Wolves versus Brighton.
“If I was Arsenal, I’d be going after Ruben Neves,” Merson said. “Manchester United are going to be after him as well. I’m not sure how Wolves are going to keep him at the club, to be honest.”
Arsenal target Neves stands out
Merson predicted the game would finish 1-1. Brighton went on to win 3-0! Even so Neves was again the stand out player in a disappointing Wolves performance.
The Portuguese ace has been a rock since arriving from Porto in 2017. He has made over 200 appearances for Wolves scoring 24 goals, many from long-range. He also has 12 assists but it’s his work-rate in the engine room that really stands out. And is the reason he is in demand.
Now it remains to be seen if anyone can match the asking price.