Manchester United join Chelsea in race to sign Ruben Neves: Is Neves worth the €45m price tag?

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According to reports, Manchester United have joined Chelsea in the race to sign Wolves and Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves in the January transfer window.

Manchester United star midfielder Paul Pogba is out of contract next summer and has shown no intention of signing a new long-term deal at the club. The red devils look set to lose the French World Cup winner on a free transfer next summer. Just like Pogba, attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard is also in the last year of his contract. Jesse is also reportedly considering his future at the club.

Defensive midfielder Nemanja Matić is now 33 and looks like a shadow of his previous self. The Red Devils’ interim manager Ralf Rangnick is looking to strengthen his midfield options and is thinking to sign Neves in the January transfer window.

The Portuguese midfielder has played 17 Premier League games for Wolves this term and has scored one and assisted one during those matches. Overall Ruben Neves has made 194 appearances in all competitions for Wolves. In this time he has recorded 21 goals and set up a further 11 goals for his teammates (stats via Transfermarkt).

Reports earlier this month suggested that Chelsea had identified Ruben Neves as their top target ahead of the January transfer window. Fichajes have now reported that Manchester United are also scouting the Portuguese midfielder. Reports also suggest that a move next summer is more likely than a move in the January transfer window.

Is Ruben Neves worth the €45m price tag?

Just like Manchester United, Chelsea are also in the market for a midfielder. With Jorginho now 29 and Kante 30, the European champions are looking for new midfield options. While on-loan midfielder Saul has failed to impress the Chelsea faithful and has looked out of his depth in the Premier League.

This term Ruben Neves has averaged 2.1 tackles, 1.1 clearances, and 0.9 interceptions per match in the Premier League. He has also averaged 0.8 key passes per match and maintained a pass completion rate of 83.4% in the league this term (stats via Whoscored). Those stats are good enough to show that the midfielder can easily slot into the Blue’s or Red Devils’ midfield and not look out of place at all.

The Portuguese midfielder can be the heart of the Manchester United or Chelsea midfield for years to come. Ruben Neves current contract runs until 2024 with Wolverhampton Wanderers. While according to reports, Wolverhampton Wanderers will only consider bids of at least €45m (£38.2m).

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