Wolverhampton Wanderers could be left to rue their inability to move on Ruben Neves this summer, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the respected source suggested that the Midlands side are now facing a potential “problem” this summer, with fewer funds set to be available as they are yet to cash in on the Portuguese midfielder.
Crook stated: “That’s a bit of a problem for Wolves because at the start of the summer, when there had also been interest in January from Manchester United and Barcelona, they almost built their business plan around selling Neves for decent money.
“The fact that nobody has come in has obviously left them a bit short stocked.”
The Molineux outfit have been left somewhat in limbo with the 25-year-old – who has been the subject of interest from clubs across Europe – also yet to agree a new deal at the club, with just two years remaining on his existing contract.
That fact has ensured that Wolves could be forced to sell the playmaker on the cheap next summer if he does not agree to an extension, with that a far from ideal scenario for a player whom manager Bruno Lage previously insisted could demand over £100m.
Bringing in something close to that fee would no doubt have enabled the former Benfica boss to rebuild the squad in his image, with key areas of the pitch undoubtedly in desperate need of bolstering.
While the club have signed the forward pair of Goncalo Guedes and Hwang Hee-chan on permanent deals this summer – the latter man having spent last season on loan under Lage – there is still arguably the need for a genuine, out-and-out centre-forward, particularly with Raul Jimenez currently sidelined with injury.
Equally, in a more general sense, there have long been concerns over the lack of squad depth at the club, with those fears potentially heightened having seen the likes of Roman Saiss and Conor Coady depart, despite also bringing in Nathan Collins from Burnley.
Recouping valuable cash with the sale of Neves would no doubt have helped Lage and co bolster their positions of weakness and fill such notable voids, although now it would appear that they will be lumbered with a player whose value is only set to depreciate the longer his contract saga drags on.
Not that supporters nor the club will wish to see the 30-cap gem depart, with the £58k-per-week ace having been so influential in the team’s rise in recent years, scoring 24 goals and providing 12 assists in 214 games in all competitions since joining on back in 2017.
That being said, it is seemingly the natural order of things that such an impressive figure is typically snapped up by an elite club, with Wolves likely having been banking on that fact, as Crook alluded to.
As it is, Lage will likely have to continue to field a player whose future remains particularly unclear, with it set to prove something of a disaster if his non-sale does impact potential incomings.