Barcelona are reportedly eyeing a move for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves.
Sport have claimed the Catalan giants like the 25-year-old maestro and actually see him as a potential heir to Sergio Busquets.
The Spanish midfielder turns 34 this summer, and will only have a year remaining on his contract at the Nou Camp then.
Busquets has been an outstanding player for Barca over the years.
Without any doubt he has been one of football’s best holding midfield players.
It was Pep Guardiola who integrated him into Barca’s starting XI all those years ago. And last year the Manchester City boss hailed the 34-year-old as ‘very intelligent’ and someone who ‘understands everything’ (via Barca Universal).
It will be a very hard task to replace him. But apparently Barca officials think Neves could be up to the task.
The report from Sport suggests Jorge Mendes will be key in the situation. He represents the player and has brokered several deals for both Wolves and Barca.
Neves has a contract at Wolves until 2024. There is hope for many supporters that he will agree to an extension.
Pedro Neto committed his long-term future last week, and some would really love to see Neves follow suit.
He has been in wonderful form this season. In the last two games he has provided a world-class goal and a world-class assist.
He is emerging as someone who could soon become a world-class player. And it would be absolutely brilliant if he could sign an extension.
Failing that, and it’s not nice to think about, but he stands to make Wolves a huge amount in the transfer market.
Barcelona surely can’t afford Ruben Neves
Neves would probably be a brilliant replacement for Busquets at the Nou Camp.
But realistically, Barcelona are not going to be able to afford Neves.
We are already getting reports of them trying to get out of paying Adama Traore’s buy option.
Joan Laporta, their president, recently said that a permanent move for the winger is ‘possible’, but he admitted the club were in financial difficulty.
Neves will still have two years left on his contract at Wolves this summer. That puts the club in a strong position to demand a huge fee.
Realistically, Neves has become absolutely invaluable for Wolves. You would think the club would want much more than the £45 million Liverpool paid for Diogo Jota, who is Wolves’ biggest-ever sale.