Multiple Premier League sides are facing the prospect of losing their prized midfielders this summer.
That is according to transfer expert Ben Jacobs who addressed the possibility of several high-profile moves that may take place later this May in his transfer column for CaughtOffside.
Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves is among those mentioned in the piece.
The 26-year-old is entering the final year of his contract and there have been no discussions thus far to extend his deal at the Molineux.
Several top clubs including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool have been keeping a close eye on Neves’ contract situation and are known admirers of his style of play.
Wolves will have to make a decision on his future sooner rather than later, and with no agreement in sight, it seems increasingly likely that Neves will be leaving the Black Country in the summer.
The Portuguese international has been a key figure for the club since his surprising arrival from Porto in 2017, whilst Wolves were still languishing in the second tier of English football.
He has made nearly 250 appearances for the club ever since, scoring 29 goals and playing a vital role behind Wolves’ rise to becoming an established Premier League side over the last half-a-decade.
Neves’ passing range and ability to control the tempo of the game is unparalleled, and his departure would leave a significant void in the team.
Arsenal were heavily linked with a move last summer, but Wolves were able to hold on to their star man in midfield, but that may not be so easy this summer, with his asking price already taking a nosedive, from £75m last year to around £50m at this present moment.
Jacobs also credits Liverpool with an active interest in Neves’s compatriot at Wolves, Matheus Nunes and verifies the possibility of the Scousers targeting the 24-year-old once more, come May.
Meanwhile, West Ham’s Declan Rice is facing a standoff with the board at the London Stadium, with his contract set to expire in 2024 as well.
The Englishman has refused to put pen to paper on any new deal, and West Ham are aware selling him this summer may be the only way to command a healthy fee for his services.
Both Neves and Rice will be highly sought after in the summer, but the former is likely to be a far dearer commodity than the latter, perhaps even costing twice as much, according to Jacobs.
United are on the lookout for midfield reinforcements in the summer themselves and the likes of Rice and Neves could both fit seamlessly into Erik ten Hag’s long-term vision for the club.
If any one of those moves do end up materialising, the Red Devils will finally have found an ideal partner for Casemiro in the heart of their midfield, without having broken the bank to do so.
It would allow them to shore up other areas of the squad which desperately need looking into.
It almost makes too much sense for it to not happen, so knowing United, perhaps it won’t.
An interesting summer lies in store for all parties concerned.
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