Wolves: '£50m-plus' needed to prise Bruno Lage favourite from Molineux

Wolverhampton Wanderers may struggle to keep Ruben Neves at Molineux beyond the end of the season as ‘his head might be turned’ by big-name suitors, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Neves has been on Wolves’ books since making the club-record move – worth £15.8million – from Porto close to five years ago, but there are question marks over where his long-term future lies.

What’s the latest news involving Neves?

According to the Daily Mail, Barcelona are keen to strike a deal which will take Neves to the Nou Camp ahead of next season.

The report suggests talks have already been held between the La Liga giants and Neves’ intermediaries prior to the reopening of the transfer window.

Italian media outlet Calciomercato have revealed Juventus are also hoping to clinch Neves’ services, while Premier League duo Manchester United and Arsenal reportedly pursued the Portuguese star during the winter window and could head to the negotiating table at the end of the campaign.

In a bid to deter suitors, The Sun have revealed that Wolves have entered discussions over extending Neves’ contract.

However, the report suggests the West Midlands outfit may look to cash-in on the £50million-rated 25-year-old if he opts against committing his long-term future to the club.

Neves’ current deal – which is worth £50,000-per-week – is set to expire in the summer of 2024, emphasising why Wolves want to see him put pen-to-paper.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Neves?

Neves may be on the sidelines until next month after suffering a medial collateral ligament injury to his knee, but that has not halted reports of a potential move away from Wolves and head coach Bruno Lage has insisted that Neves is worth £100million.

O’Rourke believes the 26-cap Portugal international’s current employers will only be open to sanctioning his exit for a lucrative fee as they will find it tough to welcome a central midfield successor.

The journalist told GIVEMESPORT: “If Wolves are to sell Neves and they can’t agree a new deal, I think you’re probably looking at £50million-plus because it’s going to be a hard job to replace someone like Neves in the midfield.

“Also, it’s going to take big money to buy a quality replacement.”

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Who could Wolves sign as Neves’ replacement if he does leave?

Neves is not the only central midfielder who could be set to depart Wolves as Joao Moutinho’s £100,000-per-week contract is due to expire at the end of the season.

According to The Athletic, Sporting duo Joao Palhinha and Matheus Nunes have been included on Lage’s shortlist of potential arrivals.

The report suggests Lage has informed chairman Jeff Shi and the Molineux recruitment team of the profile of players he wants to lure to the West Midlands.

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