According to Le10Sport, Tottenham are interested in signing Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves this summer.
With the north London side heading into their first summer transfer window with Jose Mourinho in charge, all eyes will be on who the Spurs boss looks to bring in to reinforce his squad ahead of next season.
And according to French publication Le10Sport, Mourinho is eyeing up a move for Neves, claiming that the Lilywhites appear “only as the preferred track” for the midfielder.
The Portugal international had been linked with a move to Manchester United back in January, but it now seems as though Mourinho is keen to beat his former club to the punch this time around.
Spurs’ interest in Neves is completely understandable, especially given that Mourinho sang his praises even when he was manager at United.
Speaking after a 1-1 draw with Wolves, he said of both him and Joao Moutinho: “They press in midfield, these two Portuguese boys, they are both the kind of player that likes to bite, that likes to short distance, to press, they don’t give long time for you to have the ball, to turn, one touch, two touches, you don’t have much of that.”
The 23-year-old has fully settled into life in English football and the Premier League, and has the kind of overall package that would fit in well at Spurs. As per Whoscored, he has averaged 1.6 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 1.6 shots per game, and it points to someone who is capable of affecting the game at both ends of the pitch.
Perhaps other than Moussa Sissoko, the north London side don’t have the kind of midfielder who is capable of breaking up play inside his own half, before becoming a major threat at the other end. It’s no surprise that Luis Castro, former manager at Porto reserves, said: “Neves has extraordinary mental qualities, to go along with technical and tactical skills. He is a player who has the ability to read and understand the game, and then react.”
With Christian Eriksen departing for Inter earlier this year, Spurs lost a player who could turn a game on its head with a moment of magic. According to Understat, from the 2014/2015 season, out of the total 44 times he has found the back of the net, the Denmark international has racked up a staggering 20 goals from 0utside the box.
Neves is built in that similar mould of finding something out of the top drawer, with four out of his six Premier League goals coming from outside the area. Having someone who can unlock the tightest of defences by unleashing an effort from long-range can prove to be the difference-maker. It’s exactly why Spurs would be so smart in bringing him to the club this summer.