Ruben Neves is very likely to leave Wolves if they miss out on qualifying for Europe this season, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.
The £36m-rated midfielder has been a shining light in the team that have had an impressive campaign under Bruno Lage at Molineux.
How has Neves performed this season?
Neves started the season a little quietly, and was dropped to the bench for league games against Southampton and Leeds in October and November, respectively.
He has really clicked into gear since then, though, and has been pulling the strings in the Wolves midfield in 2022.
Since the turn of the year, he has chipped in with three goals and an assist to help Lage’s side push for a place in the top seven.
His latest goal contribution came against Everton on Sunday when he delivered the cross for Conor Coady to head home the winner in a 1-0 victory. Neves received a match rating of 8.06 from WhoScored for his performance – no other player on the pitch earned a higher mark.
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What has Jones said about Neves?
Jones feels the Midlands club will struggle to hang on to him for another year if they cannot offer him European football.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT about Neves, Jones said: “His quality is undoubted, and I think that if they don’t qualify for Europe then it’ll probably be time to say goodbye.”
Will Neves definitely stay at Wolves if they qualify for Europe?
It may depend on which European competition Wolves qualify for.
Neves has already played for Wolves in the Europa League as the club finished seventh in the Premier League in 2018/19 and 2019/20. He may also have greater ambitions than playing in the Europa Conference League.
Therefore, it may be the case that he has his sights firmly set on playing in the Champions League next season.
Wolves have done incredibly well to bounce back from their bottom-half finish last season to move into European contention this year, but their chances of finishing in the top four look slim at best right now.
With this in mind, they may be concerned about losing Neves if they finish anywhere outside the Champions League places in May.