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Bye-bye Xhaka: Arsenal eye Ruben Neves

Arsenal have turned their attentions to Ruben Neves, according to reports…

What’s the word?

The Times claim that the Gunners have begun work on a deal to sign the Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder as he is one of three high-profile names being made available for transfer this summer.

This has since been confirmed by The Athletic’s Tim Spiers, who suggests that contact has been made between the two clubs. It’s thought that the Midlands outfit will have to sell a big player if they are to bolster their playing squad in the upcoming transfer window.

£35m is the expected asking price for the Portuguese international.

Would Ruben Neves be an upgrade on Granit Xhaka?

Yes, 100%!

Yes, 100%!

No way!

No way!

Bye-bye Xhaka

Arsenal are in a similar boat to Wolves in the fact that they will have to offload several names to improve Mikel Arteta’s playing squad after a dismal season that saw them miss out on European qualification.

One name that has been linked with an exit in recent weeks is Granit Xhaka, and given Neves plays a similar role, this interest could certainly spell the end for the former skipper at the Emirates Stadium.

According to Sky in Italy, AS Roma are in talks to sign the Switzerland international after he was requested by their newly-appointed manager Jose Mourinho.

The Gunners’ former nemesis is said to be a huge admirer of Xhaka, whilst the North Londoners want around €25m (£22.5m) to let him go. That could certainly boost the coffers ahead of any Neves swoop.

Still only aged 24, Neves could be the perfect and most like-for-like replacement and his experience in English football surely only bolsters his claims further.

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Starting off with an easy one...

The 6-foot beast is effectively the orchestrator in midfield and has a knack for finding the net from range. Across 176 appearances, he has directly contributed towards 30 goals and as of August 2019, only two players had scored more from outside the box than Neves (ten).

Whilst since promotion to the Premier League, the industrious box-to-box enforcer has missed just five league games across three campaigns, where he has not dropped below 1.6 shots, 1.6 tackles or 1.5 interceptions per outing, via WhoScored.

It’s no wonder many around football have lauded his ability.

Express & Star correspondent Joe Edwards described him as a “pure talent” and “phenomenal” during Wolves’ Europa League run last year, with Man City boss Pep Guardiola lauding him an “excellent player” too.

Valued at £36m by CIES Football Observatory, the “unbelievable” Neves could well be the ideal target to fill the void left behind by Xhaka, should he depart.

Gunners chief Edu Gaspar must look to seal Arteta the Portuguese midfielder to get the North London giants back on track.

AND in other news, Premier League rival eyeing Arsenal’s £26m-rated “revelation”

Article title: Bye-bye Xhaka: Arsenal eye Ruben Neves

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