Super-agent Jorge Mendes has now offered Barcelona a fresh chance to sign Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Arsenal are also reportedly interested in a swoop for 2023.
That is according to Mundo Deportivo, which reports the intermediary met with Camp Nou chiefs on Thursday. Barcelona sought to speak to Mendes in the Catalan capital to discuss a raft of topics. Among them were the potential players that he can help them sell and sign.
Xavi Hernandez is eager to establish plans to replace Sergio Busquets at the heart of his La Liga giants’ engine room. The Barcelona boss had identified Zubimendi as his top target for the possibly upcoming role. But the 23-year-old has renewed his contract at Real Sociedad.
Mendes is aware of Zubimendi extending his deal at the Anoeta to the summer of 2027. So, the super-agent has suggested to Barcelona the possibility of Neves leaving Wolves. His contract at Molineux is due to expire in 2024 and may be made available during next year.
The midfielder’s representative would likely help to broker talks with Wolves after offering Neves to Barcelona. But Blaugrana president Joan Laporta is aware of his need to generate funds with Xavi potentially also eying a centre-half amid doubt over Gerard Pique’s future.
MENDES OFFERS WOLVES CAPTAIN NEVES TO BARCELONA AGAINST INTEREST FROM ARSENAL
Mendes has offered Neves to Barcelona as a replacement for Busquets whilst Arsenal are exploring their own bid for the Wolves captain. Sport reports that Mikel Arteta is a big fan of the 25-year-old and will return to Molineux with a new bid after walking away this year.
Arsenal refused to pay the €50-60m (€43.5-52m) price tag that the West Midlands natives slapped on Neves. Wolves’ valuation was also too rich for Barcelona’s taste as Laporta put an end to a pursuit this summer. But he has kept the Portuguese among their top options.
Both Arsenal and Barcelona know Wolves will be obliged to consider offers for Neves next year with his contract ending in 2024. The 32-year-old has no interest in renewing his deal at Molineux right now. He has been at the club since 2017 after leaving FC Porto for £15m.
Neves has grown to become one of the Premier League’s best central midfielders during the past four seasons since earning promotion. The Santa Maria da Feira native, whom Gary Neville has called ‘sensational’, is an ever-consistent performer able to dominate matches.