Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has added fuel to the fire after reports surfaced that he could switch the Premier League for La Liga in a move to Barcelona.
Neves has long been seen as one of the league’s best talents outside a top-six club. He is now in his fifth season at Wolves, and has contributed to 25 goals from defensive midfield in a vital role for the Molineux outfit.
Indeed, in four full seasons before this term he has missed just 10 league games. Wolves have finished in the top half of the Premier League in three out of those four seasons; in the 2020/21 campaign they finished 13th.
It is no secret that Neves has been central to the Wolves side since he made the switch from Porto.
As such, he has been the subject of interest from a host of teams. The main sides that have been linked with a move for the midfielder are Manchester United and Arsenal.
Links to such big clubs highlight just how good of a player Neves is. There have also been links to one of the biggest sides in world football: Barcelona.
It has appeared recently as if the Spanish giants have the upper hand over the two English teams, too.
Indeed, reports have suggested that Barca have identified Neves as the man to take Sergio Busquets’ spot, with the Spaniard’s career entering its latter stages.
Jorge Mendes is cited as a key reason that Barca could have the upper hand, given he represents Neves, and has a good relationship with Barcelona.
Neves lays out desire
It may be that Neves wants to make that move a reality, too. Indeed, he has expressed how big it would be for him to play for the Catalan side.
“If you ask in general, all players want to play for Barca! It’s one of the best clubs in the world,” he said, via Fabrizio Romano.
“It’s a privilege for me to be linked to this team.
“Who wouldn’t want to play for Barcelona? It’s normal.”
Given he seems keen on the move, it may be tough for another side to change his mind, be that his current club Wolves, or any other side that wants to snare him.
Now might be the time to go
Given the speculation regarding a move to Barcelona, now may be the right time. Indeed, Neves’ contract with Wolves runs out at the end of next season.
With that being said, this summer might be the right time for Wolves to sell up and ensure they make a decent fee.
What’s more, a move away from the Midlands may suit Neves for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the Molineux outfit are in a tough spot at the moment, finding themselves in the Premier League drop zone.
Neves’ form has not taken a hit, though. The Wolves skipper has found the net twice, in a draw with sixth-placed Newcastle United, and a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
It seems as if the Portuguese may have finally outgrown his side. He is 25 years old, soon to reach his prime, and he will likely want to hit his peak while playing a better standard of football than at present.