Wolves could be set for a huge blow in January, with reports claiming that Ruben Neves has an agreement to join Spanish giants Barcelona.
According to journalist Veronica Brunati, the Catalan club have “practically closed” a deal for the Portugal international, who has been the standout performer in a poor Wolves side so far this season.
In full, the reporter stated: “From a very good Portuguese source: FC Barcelona has practically closed Rubén Neves and Cristiano Ronaldo could enter the negotiation.”
New manager Julen Lopetegui will already have to work wonders in order to keep the Old Gold in the Premier League, as they currently sit bottom of the top flight after a woeful run of form, but losing Neves could be the final nail in the coffin for the Midlands club.
Of Wolves’ eight goals in the Premier League this campaign, Neves has contributed four, with the former Porto man ranked far higher than any other player according to WhoScored.
He has also contributed more passes, long balls and tackles per game than any other player in the squad this campaign, which emphasises just how much he can offer as an all-round threat in midfield.
It was widely expected that the player who Steve Bull dubbed “world-class” would depart during the summer transfer window but the 25-year-old remained at Molineux and took over captaincy duties from Conor Coady after he moved to Everton.
However, the maestro’s impressive performances in the midfield have not been enough to save Wolves, and he has been well and truly let down by his teammates, so it would not be a surprise if he was keen to test himself at a higher level in January.
While Barcelona may have crashed out of the Champions League this season, it is clear that they are still one of the biggest clubs in the world, so Wolves fans would perhaps not bemoan their long-serving star if he made the move to La Liga in January.
It would leave Lopetegui in a serious predicament, however, as his new side have lacked quality and goals this term, so to take away their best player and current top goalscorer would only make things worse and seriously damage their hopes of avoiding relegation.