Tottenham: First six fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Tottenham are unlikely to rival Arsenal for the signing of Wolves star Ruben Neves, according to reports. The Portugal international could be about to leave Molineux behind. And his agent, Jorge Mendes, is currently in talks with the Gunners about a move to the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal lost 2-1 to Hibernian in their first pre-season friendly on Tuesday, with the Gunners putting in a poor display.
And that’s further showcased their need for reinforcements as Mikel Arteta seeks an improved Premier League campaign next time out.
Arsenal finished eighth in the league table last term, scoring just 55 goals from 38 games and missing out on a place in both the Champions League and Europa League.
The Sun say they’re pushing to sign Neves, with Mendes talking to Gunners chief Edu about a move to the Emirates.
And it’s stated that while the midfielder was managed by Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves, they’re unlikely to challenge their fierce rivals for a deal.
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Arsenal are bracing themselves for the departure of Granit Xhaka.
The Switzerland international is a top transfer target for Serie A side Roma, with Jose Mourinho now in charge over at the Stadio Olympico.
And, in the eyes of Arsenal, Neves would be the perfect replacement.
Wolves are preparing themselves for several big exits in the wake of Nuno’s decision to leave the club and Neves could be the first to depart.
However, it’s claimed the 24-year-old’s price tag of £35million is currently a stumbling block.
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Despite that, though, there’s a confidence within Arsenal that they’ll be able to get this operation over the line – in what would be a substantial coup.
And he’s unlikely to be the Gunners’ only signing of the summer transfer window as they look to secure Champions League football next term.
They’re close to signing Anderlecht star Albert Sambi Lokonga for around £15m.
They’re also hopeful of concluding a deal for Ben White, with Brighton expected to let him go for a fee in the region of £55m.
And Houssem Aouar and James Maddison, of Lyon and Leicester respectively, are also on their radar.
Speaking after their defeat to Hibernian, Arsenal boss Arteta hit out at his side for their poor performance on the day.
“It does but there’s no excuse because we want to come here and win the match,” he said.
“They worked really hard, the boys worked really hard and you could see that some of them were not in the best condition, but we’re still very early in pre-season.
“It was great to see some of the young lads making their debuts here. We’ll keep working.”
And he then added: “I’m always disappointed when we lose a football match but it is the first game, we played with many kids and we only had four training sessions.
“We’ve trained really hard and you could see that the players were a little bit leggy.
“I think we conceded the first goal, an accident, and the second goal was clearly offside. We created many, many chances but we didn’t score.
“That’s what pre-season is for, to take the things that we haven’t done well into a training session and then improve.”
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