Wolves face 'hard battle' over £45m star they'd 'love to keep'

Wolverhampton Wanderers ‘would love’ to keep Ruben Neves at Molineux beyond the end of the season but have a ‘hard battle’ on their hands, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Wolves’ hopes of sealing European qualification have hit the buffers thanks to back-to-back defeats at the hands of Arsenal and West Ham United, but there are question marks over Neves’ long-term future amid interest from a trio of clubs.

What’s the latest news involving Neves?

According to The Sun, Wolves were willing to consider offers in the region of £45million for Neves during the January transfer window.

The report suggests two of the West Midlands club’s Premier League rivals – Arsenal and Manchester United – were mulling over whether to tempt the central midfielder away from Molineux but ended up opting against lodging a bid.

However, Neves has not only been catching the attention of clubs in the English top flight as Italian media outlet Calciomercato have recently claimed Neves is also being courted by Serie A giants Juventus ahead of a potential summer offer being tabled.

Head coach Bruno Lage, who was appointed as Nuno Espirito Santo’s successor last summer, would clearly prefer to see Neves remain at the club as he has previously revealed Neves is vital in taking Wolves to ‘the next level’.

Neves still has more than two years remaining on his £58,000-per-week contract at Wolves, meaning his current employers are in a strong negotiating position if any of his suitors look to strengthen their interest.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Neves?

O’Rourke believes Wolves will fight to keep Neves at Molineux beyond the end of the summer transfer window.

However, the journalist feels the West Midlands club may find it difficult to ensure the Portuguese remains on their books.

He is expecting clubs to lodge lucrative offers in a bid to tempt Wolves into doing business.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “Wolves won’t want to hear this because they would love to keep Ruben Neves, but I think this summer, it could be a hard battle to keep hold of Neves.”

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Eggert Jonsson - Wolves

Do you know this obscure player Wolves signed in the January transfer window?

Would Neves’ departure be a big loss for Wolves?

Wolves parted with a then-club record fee of £15.8million to sign Neves from Portuguese giants Porto in the summer of 2017 and he has gone on to become a firm favourite with the fans.

Neves’ relationship with his team-mates and the club’s supporters was prominent almost immediately and he bagged the Player and Players’ Player of the Season awards as Wolves reached the Premier League in 2018.

The 26-cap Portugal international has not seen his opportunities limited by last summer’s alteration in the dugout, with him only failing to feature in three fixtures since Lage headed to Molineux.

Therefore, it is clear that he is still a key component of Wolves’ midfield and, having racked up 34 goal involvements during his time with the club, they would undoubtedly miss his threat in the final third of the pitch.

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