Barcelona boss Xavi holds talks over Premier League midfielder31 May 2022
Barcelona boss Xavi has held talks with Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves over a potential transfer, according to Diario Sport.
Barcelona are said to have targeted the 25-year-old as a long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets and it is Xavi himself who is trying to convince Neves to make the switch to Camp Nou, with his current deal at Wolves set to expire in 2023.
As a result, given the contract situation of the Portuguese, Wolves could be best severed cashing in on him this summer, rather than losing him to a top club for free next year.
No potential fee is mentioned in the report from Sport. But given Neves’ contract situation, it is hard to see Bruno Lage and co. being able to demand too much of a high fee.
The arrival of Neves may also open the door to a Frenkie de Jong exit. The Dutchman was expected to be Busquets’ replacement when he was first signed from Ajax, as his natural position was a deep midfielder in a three. However, since his arrival in Spain De Jong has, for the most part, been used in more of a no.8 role. And with Pedri, Gavi and Nico Gonzalez also competing for a spot in that role, Barcelona may see it is a clever move to cash in on De Jong and replace him with the cheaper Neves.
Neves has been on Wolves’ books since 2017 when he was signed from FC Porto along with now Liverpool man, Diogo Jota.
Neves has featured 212 times for the Midlands-based outfit, scoring 24 goals – most of which were long-range rockets – and providing 12 assists along the way
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