Wolverhampton Wanderers have set an asking price for midfielder Ruben Neves amid interest from Manchester United, with the transfer window set to close on Monday.
According to The Sun, the Old Gold have slapped a £40m price tag on one of their most prized assets in Neves in order to fend off a swoop from the Red Devils before the end of the month.
However, Wolves are expected to stand firm and do whatever is in their power to keep the Portuguese midfielder at Molineux for at least the remainder of the season.
It was also reported that United had made a £35m bid for the 24-year-old which was rejected, but they could prove successful with a follow-up offer in the region of £40m-45m.
With the transfer window set to close on Monday, Ralf Rangnick and co would need to act quickly in order to secure Neves’ services.
Wolves manager Bruno Lage must stand firm and refuse to entertain any offers for one of his key assets, at least for the remainder of this transfer window.
The 26-cap Portugal international was one of the first statement Portuguese signings to come through the door at Molineux when joining the then-Championship outfit and he has been a regular ever since, helping the club to promotion to the Premier League, an FA Cup semi-final and a Europa League quarter-final.
Since joining from FC Porto in 2017, Neves has gone on to make 197 appearances for the Old Gold, becoming an integral part of their team. Moreover, this season has proven particularly successful for the midfielder, missing just two Premier League games so far with Wolves pushing for a top six finish.
His influence at Molineux is clear. Only Raul Jimenez has averaged more than the 24-year-old’s 1.2 shots per game, while his match average of 2.2 tackles is the fifth-highest in Lage’s squad. He has also recorded the highest average for passes per game with 57.2, as per Transfermarkt.
If Neves were to swap Molineux for Old Trafford before Monday’s transfer deadline, it would also leave Lage’s side dangerously short of midfield options. Joao Moutinho and Leander Dendoncker would then be their only other senior midfielders, with the latter sometimes deployed at centre-back.
Wolves have already lost one regular before the end of the month in Adama Traore, who has rejoined Barcelona on loan, and losing Neves would prove a colossal blow when you consider his aforementioned statistics.
Indeed, with the Old Gold only four points behind fourth-placed Man United and with a game in hand, selling such a key player to a direct rival for European qualification would have the potential to completely ruin their season. It would be a horrendous error from Lage if he caves in to the Red Devils.