Liverpool have had one of their worst starts to a Premier League season in a decade and there is no doubt that the club will consider investing in strengthening the team when the transfer window opens in January, with a new update emerging.
Bailey revealed: “Liverpool did a lot of work towards the end of the window, but in the end instead of spending they went with Arthur – a deal that has not been a success under any measure. But, as well as Arthur, they also did major work on Konrad Laimer and Ruben Neves.
“Neves has been linked with a number of clubs in recent times with Manchester United and Barcelona amongst those who had shown an interest in the past 12 months or so – but whether he is available in January remains to be seen, as new boss Julen Lopetegui won’t be wanting to lose any of his big names.”
There is no doubt that Liverpool desperately need a refresh in the centre of the pitch over the next few transfer windows, with many of their current players either soon to be out of contract or reaching the latter stages of their careers.
Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner will all be out of contract – as it stands – in June 2023, whilst Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara are both well into their 30s.
As a result, Liverpool’s work on the potential of signing Neves should not be left as a missed opportunity, as he could be a hugely valuable asset to Jurgen Klopp if the club can secure a move to Merseyside for the talented midfielder in January.
Over 14 league appearances this season, the £100m ace – who was hailed a “joy to watch” by Elliott Bennett – has scored four goals and won 54% of his duels, as well as making an average of 1.4 interceptions, 2.9 tackles and 2.4 clearances per game – proving that he is both defensively solid and an attacking threat in midfield.
The Portuguese sensation has been the recipient of high praise for his performances at Molineux, with journalist Joe Thomas dubbing Neves “phenomenal” in a post on Twitter following his display against Espanyol in 2020:
“Ruben Neves, you absolute beauty! That is just pure talent, an artist at work. Sheer excellence. No words can do it justice. It’s just phenomenal. And it’s not the first time. Won’t be the last either.”
And, Neves could well be the perfect partner for Thiago in the centre of the pitch, with the Reds star renowned for his outstanding playmaking skills and, owing to the Wolves midfielder’s sound defensive capabilities, it would allow the Spain international the freedom to focus solely on his build of play.
With that being said, the signing of Neves would undoubtedly represent a huge coup for Liverpool in their efforts to inject fresh perspectives into their midfield and could make a positive impact on the difficult season the side have faced so far.