As reported by The Athletic, senior figures at Barcelona are keen on securing a deal to take Wolves captain Rúben Neves to the Spotify Camp Nou. The 26-year-old reportedly dreams of a move to the LaLiga giants.
A deal being secured still has several hurdles to clear before being completed, with the Catalan side focusing on offloading unwanted players in order to offset the cost of new arrivals before venturing into the transfer market.
Additionally, despite senior figures at Barcelona, such as president Joan Laporta, having significant interest in Neves, head coach Xavi is pushing to sign other players before bringing the Portuguese international to the club, as he has reservations over his ability to adequately replace midfielder Sergio Busquets, who is leaving the side after a sparkling 18 years.
The Spanish manager sees Real Socidead’s Martin Zubimendi as his preferred candidate to replace Busquets.
The deal is also dependent on Wolves bringing in the right fee for the 39-cap international, as they have been preparing for his departure for several months, amidst interest from fellow Premier League side Arsenal as well as Barcelona.
Barcelona have held extensive talks with Jorge Mendes, Neves’s agent, who represents several Barca players and has a close relationship with the club. Mendes has been trusted by the Blaugrana to strike deals to sign Neves and also sell forward Ansu Fati, with the aim of generating Barcelona a profit of at least €30m from both deals. Consequently, meaning Fati’s future is another potential hurdle of the deal.
Transfermarkt currently values Neves at €40m euros, with his contract expiring in the summer of 2024. Neves signed for Wolves from Porto for a €17.9m fee in 2017 and has made 176 Premier League appearances for the West Midlands side.
Travis Levison | Get Football