Wolves star man in ‘very advanced’ talks over £44m Barcelona switch - midfielder keen on move
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Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves is reportedly getting closer to a move to Barcelona in January. The Portuguese international has been heavily linked with the Spanish giants over recent months, but a move is said to be materialising ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
This is according to a report from Spanish outlet Diario SPORT, which claims Barca’s pursuit of Neves is ‘very advanced’, with a transfer plan already in place. Xavi’s side are said to be keen on a six-month loan until the end of the current season, with the move to be made permanent with a compulsory fee in the summer.
Responding to speculation - via Fabrizio Romano on October 21 - Neves said: “If you ask in general, all players want to play for Barca! It’s one of the best clubs in the world. It’s a privilege for me to be linked to this team. Who wouldn’t want to play for Barcelona? It’s normal.”
The 25-year-old who has just 18 months left on his Wolves contract, would reportedly fetch around €50 million (£44 million) in transfer revenue. The Wanderers captain is said to fit the requirements set out by Barca head coach Xavi, with a good mix of creativity and stamina.
These attributes are believed to be crucial for Xavi’s preferred system, as Neves would sit just ahead of Sergio Busquets, who plays deep in defensive midfield. Wolves’ star man would be the pivot between defence and attack, shifting possession into advanced positions.
Neves has been a key player ever since making a club and league record £16 million move to Molineux. Signing from Porto in July 2017, the then-20-year-old was an instant hit in the Championship, scoring six goals and being nominated for an array of awards - including the division’s Player of the Season accolade.
Neves’ rise continued as Wolves were promoted to the Premier League, with the shift in quality not seeming to phase him whatsoever. He has now played 153 times for Wolves in the English top flight, contributing 20 goals as a key player under both Nuno Espirito Santo and Bruno Lage.