Ralf Rangnick could battle Thomas Tuchel off the pitch next month after a report detailed Manchester United and Chelsea’s interest in Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves.
Midfield has been a point of contention for Tuchel and Chelsea this season. Injuries and Covid-19 have ravaged their options in the centre of the park of late. That led to Reece James playing 90 minutes in midfield against Zenit St Petersburg in early December.
Atletico loanee Saul Niguez has failed to ignite in the Premier League. Chelsea appear unlikely to turn his temporary move permanent when the season concludes at present.
Conor Gallagher will return from his loan spell at Crystal Palace to bolster the ranks. However, a fresh face in the middle would still be to Tuchel’s liking.
A report from Spain last week stated Tuchel had ‘demanded’ Chelsea sign Ruben Neves. The 24-year-old Portuguese international could be available for around €45m.
However, a fresh report from the Mirror (citing the Spanish press), has put Manchester United in the frame.
Rangnick identified midfield issues straight away
They too are seeking midfield reinforcements. Interim boss Rangnick identified the position as the first area United should improve during his initial interview for the role.
RB Leipzig’s Amadou Haidara has been mentioned. More ambitious targets are Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips and Borussia Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham.
Chelsea have Neves & De Ligt in crosshairs
Chelsea need help in the midfield, while their hopes of signing De Ligt have drastically improved.
But per the Mirror, a more realistic option much closer to home is Neves.
That’s because Wolves are reportedly still struggling financially due to the Covid pandemic. A number of their more high profile stars could be available for transfer, including Neves.
Man Utd are deemed one club in the mix to capitalise in Wolves’ predicament. However, Chelsea, along with Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are also attentive to Wolves’ plight.
Mourinho returns for Man Utd star he couldn’t forget
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho is seeking to sign a Manchester United star for a second time, though he faces stiff competition from Tottenham, per a report.
A right-back is understood to be one of Mourinho’s top priorities next month.
The Serie A side had been linked with Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot. However, Ralf Rangnick’s arrival has seen Dalot installed as the first-choice right-back ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Accordingly, Dalot is now off the market.
Norwich’s Max Aarons was also touted, but it appears Roma have now settled on an Arsenal target instead with a January deal now at an ‘advanced stage’.
Nonetheless, another right-sided defender on United’s books is in Mourinho’s sights as he seeks to overhaul the position entirely. That’s according to the Sun, who state Roma want to sign United youngster Charlie Wellens.
The 19-year-old has been a regular with United’s Under-23s in the Premier League 2 this season. He is reportedly known for his passing range and has contributed in both the goals and assists column this season.
Mourinho is described as ‘keen’ to bring Wellens to Roma and reportedly tried to sign him while managing at Tottenham. Spurs too are seeking Wellens’ signature in either the January or summer windows.