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Newcastle: Dan Ashworth eyeing potential January swoop for Ruben Neves

Newcastle United are already looking at potentially bringing in a new midfielder and one of the names they’ve earmarked is Ruben Neves.

What’s the latest?

Eddie Howe’s side suffered a setback on the weekend with the injury sustained to Bruno Guimaraes over the weekend although it has been said it is not feared to be a long-term issue.

However, there is a belief that Dan Ashworth could be on the lookout for a new midfielder over the coming weeks to bolster Howe’s squad depth.

And it is said there are a number of options that have been discussed at St. James’ Park with one of them being the Wolverhampton Wanderers star, Neves.

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Speaking on the latest Talking Transfers podcast, insider Graeme Bailey has claimed the Portuguese midfielder is a player who they are looking at now instead of waiting for the summer:

“Newcastle do like Ruben Neves. He’s one who I think was more of a summer thing but they’re looking now as well. Possibility, you know, with Bruno being injured but they do like him.”

Pushing forward the priorities

As Bailey mentioned, this is a deal which the Magpies were likely to have pushed for in the summer with the expectation that this month would present a fairly quiet window on Tyneside.

However, as a result of Guimaraes’ injury issue – coupled with that of Jonjo Shelvey – and perhaps even their place in the Premier League table, this is a potential deal which has been pushed forward.

Although there is the belief that their Brazilian star could return to action in just a couple of weeks, the injury to Guimaraes does highlight their lack of depth in the midfield.

Would Neves be a good addition this month?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Although Howe still has Joelinton, Sean Longstaff and Joe Willock to choose from, the options beyond those three seem extremely limited.

And even with that trio fit, there does feel like there could be room for improvement with the likes of Longstaff over the coming months and someone like Neves – who’s been hailed “extraordinary” by Cristiano Ronaldo – could certainly provide a boost.

In comparison, Neves has provided more goals this season as well as averaging more passes, progressive passes and tackles per 90 minutes (via Fbref).

And at the age of 25, Neves could be a player who could prove a real feature in the Newcastle midfield for years to come alongside the likes of Guimaraes.

However, as Bailey alluded to, if Wolves are not looking to sell him this month, it could prove to be an expensive deal in a window where Newcastle are watching their spending alongside the FFP regulations.