Former Arsenal icon Paul Merson has urged both the Gunners and Manchester United to sign Wolves midfield star Ruben Neves this summer. It comes amid reports linking the two sides with the Portugal international.
Mikel Arteta is said to be keen to add to his central ranks in the transfer window, with Mohamed Elneny set to leave as a free agent while Granit Xhaka only has one-year left on his deal. The overall depth beyond them two, and Albert Sambi Lokonga and Thomas Partey, is very limited, leaving the Spaniard with the choice to strengthen.
There was, reportedly, an attempt to address this in January, with reports linking the Gunners with a move for Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo. Despite those links, Arsenal opted against signing anyone, letting a number of fringe players leave.
After failing to land anyone, Arteta defended the club’s transfer strategy: “We had a clear plan of what we can do but then it has to be doable. Edu and his team have done a great job. We are very clear we only want the best people and the best players at this club.”
With more time on their side, the summer could provide the perfect opportunity to strengthen up front as well as in midfield. However, where they finish this season could also determine who they, or their rivals, may land.
Despite that, ex-Arsenal player and pundit Merson has urged both his former side and Manchester United to sign Ruben Neves this summer. In his Sportskeeda column, he said: “If I was Arsenal, I’d be going after Ruben Neves. Manchester United are going to be after him as well. I’m not sure how Wolves are going to keep him at the club, to be honest.”
However, if they are to pursue Wolves ace Neves, then he may not come at a cut price, as manager Bruno Lage said in his pre-match press conference: “We need to be ready for everything. A player like Ruben Neves has a value of £100m. Anything can happen, not just with Ruben.”
The 25-year-old has already become an established Premier League player, making 28 appearances in the campaign so far. Neves’ current deal expires in 2024 though, meaning that the West Midlands club have time on their side when it comes to negotiation.