Barcelona are reportedly keen on a move for Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves in the January transfer window.
The Portuguese international, 25, has been linked with a move to Nou Camp for some time now and added some fuel to the fire with an interview last week. He was firmly on the Spanish club’s radar in the summer transfer window, but the Blaugrana couldn’t sign him then due to financial constraints.
According to the Spanish outlet Sport (h/t Sport Witness), Barcelona are at an advanced stage in wrapping up the deal for Wolves’ Ruben Neves. The Catalan giants could look to bring him in during the winter transfer window on a six-month loan with an obligation to buy at the end of the season, the report adds.
Neves’ performances have seen a dip this season, though, with Wolves languishing 19th in the table. Regardless of that, Barcelona are considering a move for him as they are trying different avenues to strengthen a team which has been struggling for a few years now.
Ruben Neves to Barcelona—The right option for Xavi?
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is on the lookout for Sergio Busquets’ long-term replacement. Barcelona and Spain legend, Busquets has starred at Nou Camp since 2008, winning eight La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies during his stay. While he remains a crucial player in Xavi’s system, the Spanish defensive midfielder has started showing signs of ageing of late.
At 34, Busquets is no longer the player he once was in his prime, and his dip in performance levels has forced Xavi to start planning for his future. Xavi isn’t yet entirely convinced with Frenkie de Jong and the midfielder has emerged as a possible candidate to be sold due to his sky-high wages, even though he has been extremely impressive in the last few games where he has been given opportunities.
Perhaps, this is why the Blaugrana are planning to complete a move for Ruben Neves in January. Neves has been a consistent performer for Wolves in the last few years, establishing himself as one of the Premier League’s most exciting central midfielders.
Capable of doing a little bit of everything at the centre of the park, the Portuguese international could be a smart long-term replacement for Busquets at Barcelona. Blessed with technical skills on the ball, the 25-year-old has an excellent passing range and can strike the ball with immense power from long range. He has got the vision in his locker to pierce a rigid backline and is also an expert set-piece taker.
There is still time for Neves to improve a few facets of his game, and a manager like Xavi could help unlock his true potential.
But if latest reports are to be believed, there are still doubts regarding the choice of player in the Barca camp. With Xavi under pressure and the instability in the midfield department, the Blaugrana are holding back from making a firm offer as of yet.