Reports in Spain claim Manchester United are already in negotiations to sign Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves this summer with Barcelona now out of the race.
United are keen to add midfield quality to their ranks as the Erik ten Hag revolution continues. The Dutch tactician has led the Red Devils to third in the Premier League standings after 26 games. And a return to the Champions League looks to be on the cards.
The north-west giants have struggled to match their previous heights in recent seasons. But there is a sense that they might be able to mount a serious title challenge next term.
Summer recruitment will be crucial. The likes of Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Marcel Sabitzer have all arrived during the past 12 months.
But Neves has been on United’s radar for a few years and it may now be time to strike.
They looked set to battle with Barca for the Portugal international. However, Sport are reporting that the Catalans have now withdrawn their interest in the former Porto Schemer.
The outlet suggests that they have pulled the plug on their pursuit as there is ‘uncertainty’ among the Nou Camp fans.
And they add that manager Xavi still believes Sergio Busquets is a better player despite his advancing years.
It is said that Nou Camp president Joan Laporta had all but agreed a deal with the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes.
But that will now ‘come to nothing’, according to Sport. The news will be music to the ears of Manchester United officials who are angling for a summer swoop.
United lead Premier League big-hitters in Neves pursuit
It was revealed earlier his week that Neves will cost in the region of £50m. He is under contract with the Molineux outfit until the summer of 2024.
However, Neves is reportedly ‘already negotiating what could be his transfer to United starting next summer’.
The Old Trafford giants may be in the box seat but the spectre of Chelsea looms large on the horizon.
Todd Boehly has already shown that he is ready to spend big to improve the Blues squad. And the Stamford Bridge outfit are known admirers of Neves.
However, it is not clear who will be in charge of the west Londoners when 2023-2024 gets under way. Graham Potter is under intense pressure.
And there are those in the media who feel he has little or no chance of staying in the job beyond this season. Whether that impacts recruitment only time will tell.
Liverpool another option for Neves
It looks set to be a summer of change at Liverpool after a poor season by the Reds previous standards.
Midfield is one area that needs addressing, with Jurgen Klopp said to be an admirer of Neves.
Wolves have struggled this season and sit 13th in the table. But they are only three points better off than 18th-placed West Ham.
There is no question that the West Midlanders are embroiled in a relegation fight.
Failure to stay in the Premier League would certainly see many big-name players leave. And top of the list could well be Neves, with many options open for the 26-year-old ace.