Man United Transfer News: Red Devils keen on key Wolves star - The Verdict

Man United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during pre-season

Journalist Dean Jones has claimed that Manchester United have put plans in place to try to sign Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves. 

The 24-year-old has been linked with United and Arsenal this summer, and Jones recently provided an update on the Red Devils’ pursuit of Neves.

Speaking on The Football Terrace, Jones said: “I know for a fact that they do like Neves, that they’ve been working on it in the background. It’s reasonably far down the line and if they do want to progress with it then they can because the foundations have been laid.”

With Jones confirming that United admire Neves, it seems that they could step up their interest in the Portuguese international at some point in the final month of the transfer window.

If they do, would he be a good signing for the Old Trafford club?

GIVEMESPORT’s Sam Brookes, Joshua Cole and Christy Malyan give their thoughts below…

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Sam Brookes

“United really need to strengthen their midfield this summer. Fred and Scott McTominay are unlikely to take the side to a title any time soon. The problem is; I’m not convinced Neves is the player to lead Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to glory either.

“Neves has done a solid job at Wolves over the last four seasons, chipping in with 20 goals and 10 assists in 176 appearances. One of those campaigns was in the Championship, though, and whilst Wolves have secured two top seven finishes since then, it would still be a significant jump up in class to then go and play for United.

“The 13-time Premier League champions have also been linked with Saul Niguez, who is used to battling for silverware both domestically and in Europe with Atletico Madrid. This edge in experience when it comes to big matches is the reason why I believe United should steer clear of Neves and go after Saul instead.”

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Joshua Cole

“Having already sealed two eye-catching signings in the form of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, Manchester United could emerge as legitimate title contenders by securing a deal for Neves between now and the end of the transfer window.

“Whilst Fred and Scott McTominay both possess the qualities needed to compete at this level, the arrival of the Portugal international could potentially transform the Red Devils’ fortunes.

“As well as averaging a respectable WhoScored match rating of 6.81 in the Premier League last season for a poor Wolves side, Neves also ranked in the top five at Molineux in terms of tackles per game (2.4), interceptions (1.8 per game) and key passes per game (0.9).

“By moving to a club who have lofty ambitions, there is every chance that the midfielder could take his game to new heights and thus it may be worth United spending a considerable amount of money on him this summer.”

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Christy Malyan

“Blessed with a passing range that allows him to dictate games from deep, Ruben Neves can be another Michael Carrick for Manchester United. Since the former England man began to significantly slow up during United’s much-troubled 2013/14 season, the Red Devils have lacked that kind of influence in the middle of the park – someone who can sit in front of the defence and either launch attacks or keep possession ticking over, while subtly but effectively stifling any counters from the opposition.

From all Premier League players who made more than 20 starts in midfield last season, Neves ranked 10th for passes per game and was one of just three to make the top ten who didn’t play for one of the Big Six, while he came joint-top of the entire division for average accurate long-passes per game with a return of 5.9. It’s worth noting Scott McTominay and Fred weren’t particularly near him in either category, which shows how Neves would bring something United currently lack to their engine room.

“And that could make a massive difference to United’s forward players. It’s not hard to imagine one of Neves’ long cross-field passes picking out Jadon Sancho or Marcus Rashford on the wings, or a more delicate central ball putting Bruno Fernandes into a prime shooting position. In that sense, and much like Carrick once again, Neves offers United a real platform to build their offensive moves from.

“Throw in the fact he’s already acclimatised to the pace of the Premier League, is still just 24 years of age and has been priced at just £35m, I think he would be a superb signing for the Red Devils.”

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