Since his arrival at Molineux, Ruben Neves has developed into one of the leading midfielders in the Premier League. He has helped Wolves become a team who can push for top-four finish. Just before the Premier League was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wolves were on the verge of breaking into the Champions League spots in just their second season back in the top flight. This was arguably thanks in large parts to the Neves.
His impressive performances on the pitch have been admired by United and other teams inside the Premier League’s top six. It’s worth noting that the “Neves to United” rumour was at its peak during the January 2020 transfer window. During this time United were in the midst of a midfield injury crisis, with the likes of Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba sidelined with long term injuries. This left United with just four recognised midfielders: Fred, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira and James Garner, all of which you could argue were out of form or lacking the required experience.
In that January transfer window United brought in Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon, a player who seems to have single-handedly improved United’s midfield both with his own performances and raising the levels of those around him. Since Fernandes’ arrival and United’s upturn in form rumours of Neves joining United have somewhat cooled and there may also be a number of other reasons for this.
First of all, in an interview with goal.com back in January which was reported in The Times, when the question was put to Neves about the prospect of him joining United, the player was not “sold” on a move nor was he “overly excited” about coming to Old Trafford. Fast forward to present times and it’s no coincidence that The Reds now seem to have turned their intentions to the likes of Jack Grealish and Donny Van De Beek.
The revelation that is Bruno Fernandes, the resurgence of Fred and Matic and the return to fitness for McTominay and Pogba may have changed the clubs thinking. There may be a feeling inside United now that signing another midfielder is no longer a priority and instead they might be looking at strengthening the team in the wide areas and at the top of the pitch.
It’s fair to say that during the enforced break due to the COVID-19 pandemic it has started to look less likely that Paul Pogba will leave Manchester United this summer. Whether this leads to the french midfielder signing a new contract who knows? But one thing for sure is, many United fans are excited about the prospect of Pogba and Fernandes linking up in United’s midfield. If it is as successful on the pitch as it looks on paper, then it is a partnership that arguably has the potential to take United to the next level and compete for major trophies.
All things considered a move for Ruben Neves looks unlikely in my opinion. You can never say say never as no one really knows how the transfer market will look this summer and indeed which players will be available. However, its certain that Solskjaer will only have eyes for players who have a desire to play for United. There are also other areas of the squad that are in greater need of strengthening and with finances undoubtedly limited, it may prove impossible for the club to sign all of their targets.