Ruben Neves to Man Utd: Homework done, key transfer approval and Cristiano Ronaldo factor

Man Utd: Neves ‘ticks all the boxes’ for club says expert

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As the clock ticks down, Manchester United could still make a late signing in midfield. And with talk of Saul Niguez stemming from his agent, and Eduardo Camavinga preferring a move to Spain, it’s possible they’ll go after Ruben Neves instead. The Wolves star is admired at Old Trafford and would cap off a fine transfer window for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.

Homework done

It was reported by Eurosport’s Dean Jones earlier this month that United ‘had done their homework’ on Neves.

“He’s realistic, he’s attainable and he’s quality,” Jones said on The Football Terrace podcast.

“So that’s why I’m not going to rule it out, and haven’t all summer.

“It seems to me that this might be a better fit than the likes of Camavinga because he’s already done it in the Premier League, he’s proven.

“I know from various people at United that they’ve got huge knowledge and insight on his game, his stats and what he would bring to the team.

“It’s one that’s there. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s likely.”

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Key approval

And Jones also stated in July that Bruno Fernandes approves of United targeting Neves.

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“That final position will be in midfield,” he said.

“It’s just a case of is it Ruben Neves? Is it a defensive midfielder? It’s all going to depend and it would really give us an insight into what Solskjaer’s mentality is going into the season and what type of football we can expect from him.

“Is he sticking with that McTominay and Fred? Or is he going to be more open than that, with a ball-player like Neves that can come in.

“I’m told that the Neves pursuit is genuine. And while Arsenal are the most active in trying to get that over the line, United are still in the conversation.

“Bruno Fernandes is obviously very keen for Neves to join and the club are aware of that.”

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Wolves’ stance

Wolves boss Bruno Lage has admitted he’d ideally like to keep Neves.

But, curiously, he also admitted every player had a price.

“All the top players we have are linked with all the clubs in the world,” he said earlier this month.

“If you go to Portugal, the top players at Benfica are all linked with moves to Wolves.

“Ruben is happy here and we are happy with him. We are not thinking to let anyone leave, but every player has a price.

“You never know, if Messi changes to PSG then anyone can go.”

Cristiano Ronaldo factor

United may be convinced into signing Neves by Cristiano Ronaldo.

The two are team-mates for Portugal at international level – and the Juventus star knows what his compatriot is capable of.

Speaking after Portugal won the Nations League in 2019, Neves also indicated he thought Ronaldo was the best player ever – suggesting he’d be keen on a reunion at club level, too.

“I can’t see anyone better than him. Cristiano is the best. He showed that in the semi-finals and again (in the final). We are lucky to have him in our team,” he said.

Asked if Ronaldo is the greatest in history, he added: “Of course, yes. For me, he’s the best ever, and I’m a really lucky guy to play with him.”

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