Now is the time to swoop for Porto's Ruben Neves following Julen Lopetegui's sacking

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Following a 2-0 loss to Sporting Lisbon and goalless draw against Rio Ave, FC Porto have sacked manager Julen Lopetegui.

The Spaniard's tenure as manager ended midway through his second season, having lead Porto to a second-placed finish last term.

His unprecedented sacking came despite the Dragons having lost just once this season and sitting four points below league-leaders Sporting.


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According to BBC Sport reports, the club's board "decided to replace the coaching team led by Julen Lopetegui."

One of the best moves the Spanish manager made during his time at the Estadio do Dragao was introducing highly sought-after youngster Ruben Neves, handing the Portuguese midfielder is debut in the Primeira Liga at just 17-years-old.

And in October last year, Neves became the youngest ever captain to start in the Champions League, the starlet attracting interest from a host of Europe's giants for his vision and maturity ever since.

Rumours of a move continue to emerge, with Chelsea and Arsenal reported admirers of Neves. The 18-year-old has sounded out his intentions to remain in Portugal and prove his worth, yet the departure of Lopetegui could soon change that.

Prior to his sacking, the Spaniard showed faith in his Portuguese star and played him regularly, rejecting any bids that came in for Neves. Without Lopetegui, however, the midfielder might not be so keen to remain in the Primeira Liga.

And Porto could be more willing to accept a big-money bid for the 18-year-old, like they have done so many times before.

It’s likely Neves will be disheartened by his manager being sacked so ruthlessly despite the impressive form they had shown this season, albeit following elimination from the Champions League.

A player Neves' quality at such a young age would be a welcomed addition at any side - and with Lopetegui departed, now could be the ideal time to prise one of Europe's most promising central midfielders away from the Portuguese giants.

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