Wolves will not be forced into cheap Ruben Neves sale

Wolves will not be forced into selling Ruben Neves this summer but will listen to the right offer, the Express & Star understands.

Ruben Neves (AMA)
Ruben Neves (AMA)

The star midfielder is reportedly set to depart Molineux in the coming months for a cut-price fee of £35million to allow the club to raise funds for a summer rebuild.

But the Express & Star understands that Wolves will not have their hand forced in letting one of their best players leave the club.

They will, however, listen to the right offer if it came in, which is likely to be upwards of £45million – the same fee that Liverpool paid for Diogo Jota last year.

Neves has been a key figure for Wolves since signing for £15million from Porto in 2017.

After guiding the team to the Championship title, he earned two seventh-placed finishes in the Premier League, got to an FA Cup semi-final and reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

This season, Wolves have struggled with injuries and eventually finished 13th in the Premier League.

It is thought that due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Wolves will need to sell before they buy, but in the case of Neves it is understood the club will not be forced into letting him go.

Whoever replaces Nuno Espirito Santo as manager will be keen to have a say in this deal, too, with Wolves now searching for a new boss.

Former Benfica manager Bruno Lage has flown into England and held talks with Wolves but it is understood this is just the first step in the club’s enquiries and it is far from a done deal.

Instead, it is believed Wolves will still look around at other potential candidates before making their decision.

The appointment is expected to be completed within two to three weeks as the club consider all of their options.

If Lage is made the next Wolves boss the club will have to overcome the hurdle of a work permit, but that is not believed to be the reason for a delay in the appointment – with the club instead preferring to take their time on the decision.

Lage previously worked as assistant manager to Carlos Carvalhal at Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea.

Last summer he departed as Benfica boss after a year-and-a-half in charge and he has been a free agent since. The 45-year-old is known for playing attractive and expansive football and has a track record of bringing youngsters through into the first team.

It is thought Wolves are keen to transform the style of play this summer to best utilise the attacking talents already at the club and Lage’s style could fit that mould if he is made boss.

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