Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has long been linked with a move to Barcelona – but there is a chance he may not end up making that move after all.
The 25-year-old has been the subject of speculation since the end of the last transfer window.
When Neves’ name has been in the gossip columns, Barcelona are usually mentioned too.
The Spanish giants have had him on their radar for some time now.
It was reported that they wanted to sign him in the last window. But Barca didn’t have the finances to do a deal.
Neves ended up staying put, and assumed the captaincy from Conor Coady, who left to join Everton on loan.
According to SPORT, Barcelona are looking to find a long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets. And Xavi and sporting director Jordi Cruyff have agreed one man should be signed.
And it’s not Wolves star Neves.
Apparently, Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad the player they see as a Busquets’ replacement.
They have apparently now made it clear to the club’s president Joan Laporta that the 23-year-old is who they’d like.
The only issue for them is that Zubimendi would be expensive. His release clause is just under £52 million.
On top of these claims about Zubimendi, SPORT also say in another article that N’Golo Kante is another midfielder they are looking to sign for free.
Potential boost for Wolves regarding Ruben Neves, but keeping him beyond summer 2023 will still be very difficult
There have previously been reports that some Barca officials haven’t quite been sold on Neves. It has been suggested as well that some are actually baffled by reports on interest in the Portuguese maestro.
And now there is this claim that Xavi and Cruyff have informed Laporta they want to sign Zubimendi.
It might be good news for Wolves.
But that said, it could be that other clubs come in for him next summer, when he will only have one year left on his contract.
It’ll be very difficult to keep Neves beyond summer 2023, but Barcelona signing Zubimendi might just decrease the chances of him heading to the Nou Camp at least.