Chelsea deliver Ruben Neves ultimatum as Liverpool eye Portuguese prodigy

According to reports from Mirror Football, Chelsea want to sign Liverpool target Ruben Neves during the January transfer window.

What’s the word?

Since establishing himself as a Porto regular during the 2014/15 season, a number of Premier League clubs have been linked with the central midfielder. Liverpool and Chelsea were mooted as potential suitors this time last year by Mirror Football and London Evening Standard respectively, following Neves’ impressive displays during the early rounds of the Champions League.

Although the 19-year-old is yet to feature in the competition this season, despite Porto’s involvement in Group G, he’s once again being linked with the two aforementioned clubs – but most particularly the Blues.

Indeed, whilst citing interest from Liverpool and Valencia, Mirror Football claim Chelsea are intent on signing Neves in the coming transfer window. Furthermore, they want a decision on whether he wants to make the move by the end of the first week of November – three weeks’ time.

Is Neves a superstar in the making?

Of course, it’s hard to judge how successful a player’s career will be when he’s still in his teen years. But Neves already boasts some rather telling records; he’s Porto’s youngest ever player to score a goal in the Primeira Liga and became the youngest captain in Champions League history upon wearing the armband against Maccabi Tel Aviv last season – which speaks volumes about the maturity he’s shown at such a young age.

Neves has also been capped twice for Portugal already and although he’s seen as more of an all-round central midfielder, former team-mate Cristian Tello once compared him to Barcelona’s iconic playbreaker Sergio Busquets. As quoted by Mirror Football, he said; “Ruben Neves, for a 17-year-old, is fantastic with the ball at his feet, he knows how to position himself and he’s aggressive. He’s similar to Sergio Busquets.”

Here’s a look at how his form has compared to Chelsea’s current midfield options this season, courtesy of Squawka: