It is fair to say that it has been a positive transfer window this summer for Manchester United, following a £75 million switch for Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, while Raphael Varane completed a stunning move from Real Madrid for £35 million.
Certainly two of the biggest signings to come through the doors at Old Trafford in one window for the last few years, however, it seems that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not be done there.
It is understood that there are a couple of areas of the pitch that the Norweigian still has his eye on during this window, one of them being in the centre of the pitch. As a result, it appears that the Red Devils may attempt to persuade Wolves to sell their midfielder, Ruben Neves, with a fee in the region of £40 million mooted.
What would Neves offer United?
By trade, Neves is a deep-lying playmaker, very much in the mold of Xabi Alonso, able to break up play by reading the game, with a great range of passing. Arguably, United do not really have a player like that in their ranks, as most of their personnel in the centre of the pitch tend to operate further forward.
While Nemanja Matic does tend to sit deeper, he lacks the kind of vision that Neves is blessed with, while last summer’s signing Donny van de Beek prefers to wander forward, dictate play around the edge of the area and find goal-scoring opportunities.
There is no doubt then that someone of Neves’ ability would offer United a different dimension, especially on the counter-attack, while it would offer the opportunity to strike up what could be a mouthwatering relationship with compatriot Bruno Fernandes who plays further forward.
Since his £9 million move to Wolves from Porto in 2017, the player has become a seasoned Premier League regular and a major influence in his side, effectively hitting the ground running, though he has also improved a lot under former boss Nuno Espirito Santo.
New Wolves boss Bruno Lage only recently insisted that he is not looking to sell the Portuguese star, though admitted that every player “has his price”, which could be encouraging for United if they decided to make a move.
Would United look elsewhere?
Should a move for Neves prove too difficult, especially with such a short time period left in the transfer window, it is hard to imagine United making a move for anyone else.
There have been rumours that West Ham United starlet Declan Rice is a long-term target and someone who could fulfill that role for years to come, though any move for the England international would likely materialise next summer.
United are reportedly also said to be keen on Atletico Madrid full-back Kieran Trippier, however, this line of inquiry has gone quiet over the last week.
A former Press Association Sports Journalist (NCTJ – National Council for the Training of Journalists), now based in Lisbon, Matt also has over a decade of experience working with the top operator brands. These include Coral, BetVictor, and numerous others, having held a number of senior positions and still retains strong industry relationships. He enjoys reading, writing, travelling, all things business, sport, meeting new people, learning new things and also holds football coaching qualifications.