At the end of the 2021/22 Premier League season, it appeared extremely unlikely that Wolves would start the new campaign with Ruben Neves in their midfield.
“Of course, all of us have dreams and we need to live those dreams in a short space of time. Let’s see what happens. I cannot say too much about it.”
However, he has remained at the club and has captained the side in the opening two fixtures following Conor Coady’s departure, which emphasizes that Lage is confident he will remain at Molineux this summer.
Unfortunately, it seems as if Wolves have very little chance of extending the midfielder’s contract beyond 2024, as Ryan Taylor revealed in a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT this week.
He said: “I think Jorge Mendes has other plans for him, to be honest. I’d be very surprised if they tied him down to a longer deal.”
Given that Neves’ current deal is set to expire at the end of next season, Wolves may find themselves in a position where they are forced to sell in 2023 in order to avoid losing the talented midfielder on a free transfer.
The cultured midfielder was ranked by WhoScored as Wolves’ fifth-best performer in the 2021/22 campaign, demonstrating his importance to Lage’s team.
Furthermore, he has also been their top outfield performer in their opening two fixtures so far this season, thanks to a performance rating of 7.12, a number that far eclipses anyone else with Leander Dendoncker sitting in second with 6.97.
Therefore, it would undeniably be a big blow if the club were to lose him, whether it be this summer or next. After all, with Joao Moutinho now nearly the wrong side of 35, the club could do with some younger options in the middle of the park and they may end up having to replace the pair of them in a year’s time.
Thus, should Mendes indeed have other plans for the 25-year-old, Lage would surely be gutted at losing one of his main men.
Capable of magic moments, particularly with his long-range shooting ability and set-piece delivery, Neves is a midfielder that adds a great deal to the centre of the pitch. Molineux would certainly be a worse place without him.