Manchester United have made an offer to Wolverhampton Wanderers for the transfer of Ruben Neves, according to a report from Portugal.
Neves has long been admired at Old Trafford but previous attempts to sign him have seen the Midlands club price him out of the market.
But now with two years remaining on his contract, the powers-that-be at Molyneux are looking more prepared to cash in on their midfield maestro and have already lined up his replacement, Sporting Lisbon’s 26-year-old João Palhinha.
Whilst all eyes have been on United’s bid for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, the Catalans themselves have been lining up his replacement, and they in turn have identified Neves as their “absolute priority”.
“The Blaugrana club confirmed to [agent] Jorge Mendes that they are going one hundred percent for the midfielder”, reports Catalan outlet Sport.
“[They] will do everything possible to reach an agreement with Wolverhampton. Mendes promised to mediate.”
However, in an interesting twist, Portuguese outlet O Jogo (via Sport Witness) report that United have already bid on Neves and that their offer is much higher than that of Barça.
“To complete the deal that would bring Palhinha to Wolves, the team managed by Bruno Lage first have to clinch the sale of Ruben Neves”, O Jogo claim.
“The midfielder is wanted by Barcelona, but Wolves also have in their hands an offer from Manchester United that O Jogo has learned is more advantageous for the club, with a more attractive form of payment.”
If O Jogo’s report is true, it suggests that United could be pursuing the signature of both De Jong and Neves.
If the Red Devils were able to capture both stars, it is safe to say it will send United fans into raptures.
The other possibility is that the Portuguese star has been lined up as a replacement for the Dutchman should Barcelona fail to come to the party in the ongoing negotiations.