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Man Utd target Ruben Neves likely to move to Barcelona

Manchester United have been handed a blow with Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves likely to choose Barcelona this summer.

The Portuguese has been a solid holding midfielder for Wolves over the past five years, but could now pursue a bigger challenge away from the Midlands outfit.

He was seen tearfully waving at the Molineux faithful after the final home game of the season yesterday. Manager Bruno Lage has since refused to rule out his exit.

He said: “I really don’t know [if Neves will stay]. I don’t know what they (the fans) sing, but if you tell me I’ll sing the same thing. I want what’s best for Ruben and the club and if Ruben stays I will be happy.”

United are in the hunt for a quality defensive midfielder with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba set to leave at the expiry of their respective contracts this summer.

Neves would be a superb acquisition with his vast Premier League experience. The 25-year-old has averaged an impressive 2.1 tackles this campaign.

He would seamlessly fit into Erik ten Hag’s plans with his tireless workrate, but that appears unlikely to happen with Barcelona in pole position to sign him, as per Sport.

His agent Jorge Mendes has entered talks with Barcelona. A swap deal could be on the cards to lower the asking price. Neves is also ‘delighted’ by the possibility of joining the Catalan giants.

United have been linked with the Portuguese star several times in recent years, and now appear to have missed out on the opportunity of securing his signature.

The lack of Champions League football is a huge blow for next season, and this could make the upcoming squad rebuild a lot more difficult than in previous times.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com and WhoScored.com

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