Report: Manchester United determined to beat Arsenal to ‘outstanding’ £40m star

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers is challenged by Mason Greenwood of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on January 03, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)
Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Manchester United are ‘determined’ to lure Wolves midfielder and reported Arsenal target Ruben Neves to Old Trafford during the January transfer window, according to The Sun.

The Portuguese has shot up the Red Devils’ wish list after impressing club chiefs in Wolves’ win on Monday night. Bruno Lage’s men edged a 1-0 result away to Ralf Rangnick’s side, with Joao Moutinho striking the only goal of the encounter eight-minutes from time.

But Neves pulled the strings and also fed Adama Traore to assist Moutinho with a delightful pass. His display was effortless, and could have scored a stunning hit but for David de Gea.

This shot from Wolverhampton Wanderers' Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves (C) forces a great save from Manchester United's Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea (not pictured) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on January 3, 2022. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Manchester United are now considering how much to offer for Neves having maintained an interest after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Red Devils are mulling over a £35m bid, but Wolves are aiming to bank £40m. Boss Lage is desperate to retain the 24-year-old, as well.

Additionally, Neves is under contract on a £50k-a-week deal until 2024 and is still happy at Molineux. Rangnick may also thwart Manchester United’s chase, as some Red Devils chiefs fear he will favour raiding the Bundesliga for a new central midfielder in the January sales.

Rangnick can give Arsenal boost in Neves transfer race with Manchester United

Rangnick knows the Bundesliga well from the German’s various roles with his previous club RB Leipzig. The 63-year-old preferring to raid familiar territory may now delight Arsenal.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers is challenged by Scott McTominay of Manchester United  during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on January 03, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)
Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

That’s because the Mirror recently hinted Arsenal – like Manchester United – are also still keen on a transfer for Wolves’ Neves. The Sun had linked the Gunners with the 26-cap ace last summer, too, noting that they spoke to his agent, Jorge Mendes, over a possible deal.

Mikel Arteta lined Neves up to replace Granit Xhaka at the Emirates Stadium in the summer transfer window. Arsenal could now rival Manchester United for a £40m deal with Wolves to see Neves add extra depth beside the Swiss, Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Arteta is also without Partey while he is at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana. Mohamed Elneny is also representing Egypt in Cameroon, and is out of contract in June. So, Arsenal may want to sign Neves – who Jamie Redknapp called ‘outstanding’ in a Daily Mail column.

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