Ruben Neves to Arsenal: £35m transfer fee, Guardiola verdict, ‘decision made’, shirt number


This time next week the 2021 summer transfer window for Arsenal and all other 19 Premier League clubs will have been open for seven days.

Deals can be done all the way up until deadline day on August 31, as the Gunners will have over two months to bolster their first-team squad and trim it at the same time.

For Arsenal, they’ve already missed out on a deal for Emiliano Buendia who is poised to seal a move from Norwich City to Aston Villa in the coming days.

However, there is talk of Martin Odegaard returning to the Emirates Stadium for another spell, but striking an agreement with Real Madrid could prove difficult.

So what does this all mean in terms of Arsenal’s summer business?

football.london understands the Gunners are looking to sign at least five players this summer and recent reports suggest a central midfielder is the top priority at the moment.

With that said, here’s what has been said about Ruben Neves to Arsenal.

£35m transfer fee

Arsenal have been told how much it is going to cost to bring Ruben Neves to the club this summer.

The Portuguese midfielder has been strongly linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium in recent days as an alternative to Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.

Wolverhampton Wanderers are reportedly open to selling this summer too, potentially opening the door for the Gunners ahead of a potential switch to north London.

Arsenal have also been told that it would take £35million to get a deal done, as per the Athletic.

Neves could be the perfect midfield partner for Thomas Partey next season and he may be a cheaper alternative to Bissouma and Sander Berge.

Guardiola verdict

Should Arsenal pursue their interest in the Portugal international, the addition of him to the squad would almost certainly earn the seal of approval from Arteta’s former mentor, Pep Guardiola.

That is because the Manchester City boss has heaped praise on the former Porto man’s talents in the past, describing him as an “excellent player.”

“He’s an excellent player,” Guardiola said of Neves back in 2019. “It involves playing with two holding midfielders – not just one – but he’s an excellent player.”



Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is a big fan of Ruben Neves. (Image: Sky Sports).
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is a big fan of Ruben Neves. (Image: Sky Sports).

Neves willing to join

Arsenal have received a major boost in their attempt to sign Neves.

According to Daily Mail, Neves ‘is aware of the Gunners’ interest and has already indicated his willingness to join the north Londoners to teammates’.

Perfect Xhaka upgrade

As reported by football.london, Granit Xhaka is closing in on a move to Serie A side AS Roma that could see the north London side bank £20million.

And Neves could be the perfect replacement.

The midfielder had quite an interesting campaign in what was a difficult year at Wolves as the data collected by FBref shows his defensive actions puts him in a conversation with the likes of Xhaka, Bissouma and Chelsea star N’Golo Kante.



Ruben Neves can be the perfect Granit Xhaka upgrade at Arsenal.
Ruben Neves can be the perfect Granit Xhaka upgrade at Arsenal.

Neves won 66 tackles in the Premier League which is higher than Kante (57), Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara (43) and Xhaka (37) which places him second in the aforementioned comparison list spotted on Arsenal Reddit.

In fact, only Bissouma (74) won more tackles than the 24-year-old.

Furthermore, Neves made more interceptions than Xhaka (46-25) and most of the defensive actions are in his favour including pressing the opponent and blocks which may indicate he is an upgrade.

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Dream shirt number

Arsenal could offer Neves his dream shirt number this summer.

Neves has worn number eight throughout his time with Wolves, since joining from FC Porto in 2017, and he can take that number at Arsenal after former loan midfielder Dani Ceballos vacated the squad number.

That would be a straightforward choice for Neves, who even plays as 18 for Portugal due to the fact Wolves teammate and veteran of the national team Joao Moutinho holds the number eight.

Neves has previously played as number six for FC Porto, but it appears unlikely he would return to that number, particularly given Gabriel Magalhaes currently wears it at Arsenal.





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