Manchester United and Arsenal’s hopes of signing Ruben Neves appear to have been dashed after the midfielder hinted he is content to stay at Wolves and play under new manager Bruno Lage.
A number of clubs have been linked with the 24-year-old since the end of last season. The Gunners were the first to show their hand back in early June. And it was reported that the former Porto man was willing to move to the Emirates.
Liverpool appeared to enter the picture a week later before United were mentioned in connection with the schemer. It is the Red Devils link that has been most prominent in recent weeks.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already brought in Jadon Sancho but rumours persist that the Norwegian wants further attacking additions. Last week, Europsport’s Dean Jones suggested a deal for Neves was close.
“I know for a fact that they do like Neves, that they’ve been working on it in the background and it’s reasonably far down the line,” he told The Football Terrace Podcast.
It was thought that Nuno Espirito Santo’s exit was behind Neves’s situation. However, speaking to Wolves TV, the Portugal international appears taken with Lage.
“He is a very good coach. I am really happy to work with him,” he said. “I spoke with a few friends when he signed for Wolves – that were players in Benfica and are good friends of mine – and they said a lot of good things about him.
“He’s a very good coach with lots of good ideas. I think that when things are completely together, we’ll be a really hard team to beat.”
Neves vital for Wolves progression
Lage will have star striker Raul Jimenez back in his ranks if the Mexican’s recovery continues. He was a huge miss last season as the Molineux outfit struggled to match their previous top-flight exploits.
But it could be argued that Neves is the crucial link in the chain with his incredible work rate. He made 42 Championship appearances in Wolves’ promotion season.
And, in the top division, has enjoyed 35, 38 and 36 outings in the last three campaigns. He chips in with goals and assists and still has his best years ahead.
Fans of the West Midlanders will breathe a sigh of relief at his latest comments and hope it ends United’s pursuit.