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Spurs put Ruben Neves on January shortlist

Tottenham Hotspur have put Ruben Neves on their January transfer shortlist…

What’s the word?

That’s according to 90min, who claim that Wolverhampton Wanderers are desperate to keep hold of the Portugal international but face a tough task with several Premier League teams interested in signing him before deadline day.

The likes of Liverpool, Newcastle United, Arsenal, as well as the Lilywhites, are thought to be keeping a close eye on the situation at Molineux.

Neves is out of contract in 2024, so the Midlands outfit aren’t in the strongest negotiating position, with the 25-year-old currently valued at €35m (£30m) by CIES Football Observatory, which is considerably less than the “£100m” pricetag that ex-Wolves manager Bruno Lage stated in the summer.

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Imagine Neves and Rodrigo Bentancur

If Spurs were to win the race to sign Neves, then sporting director Fabio Paratici could form one hell of a midfield unit as both he and current engine room machine Rodrigo Bentancur would be a frightening prospect for many other teams to face.

Naturally, the Uruguayan powerhouse is a defensive-minded midfielder, even if his five goals and two assists from 21 appearances this season suggests otherwise, and the introduction of the Wolves star could see him revert back to type, given he is also averaging a squad-high 2.3 tackles per game.

Neves, who is renowned for his ability to fire in goals from range, is quite a similar player but his attacking exploits could see this duo thrive, seeing as he has also bagged four goals in 18 top-flight appearances and also as Wolves’ best performer, averages 2.6 tackles per game, on top of 2.1 shots and 0.9 key passes per game too.

Such form and quality has seen the Old Gold skipper lauded as an “incredible player” who has “incredible shooting” by his teammate Hugo Bueno, adding to past claims of Neves being a “pure talent” – in the eyes of former Express & Star journalist Joe Edwards.

Lilywhites boss Antonio Conte may be well-stocked in the midfield area, with the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Yves Bissouma, Oliver Skipp and Pape Matar Sarr all in and around the first-team setup but considering the consistency and talent Neves has delivered over the years and the lack of the same from all but one of those names, he’d be a surefire upgrade.

Also lauded as a “beast” by ex-USMNT international Jimmy Conrad, the 25-year-old deep-lying playmaker could be a perfect partner to Bentancur for the remainder of the season and beyond.

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Given the evidence above, Paratici must look to secure a move for Neves at all costs, his £100m asking price will be a lot cheaper with less than 18 months to run on this current £50k-per-week deal and that has to be considered a bargain and thus, giving Conte an incredible central duo.

AND in other news, Paratici could sign a new Dembele in £26m “engine” who “dreams of Tottenham” move