Arsenal have started working on a deal to bring Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves to the Emirates Stadium this summer.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is keen to bring in at least one new midfielder this transfer window and may end up needing to find more new faces, especially as Swiss enforcer Granit Xhaka is high on Jose Mourinho’s wish list at Roma.
Brighton’s Yves Bissouma is known to be a long-term target, and The Times claim that Neves has been added to the radar and talks have already been opened over a deal to sign the 24-year-old this summer.
As 90min first revealed in April, Neves will be allowed to leave Molineux this summer for around £35m, with Wolves‘ owners keen to limit their spending at the club and instead raise money through player sales.
Manchester United were quickly alerted to the situation and now Arsenal have joined in the fun, sensing the chance to sign a player rated close to £80m just two years ago for half that figure this time around.
Arsenal could raise around £20m through selling Xhaka to Roma and could make up the remainder of the money through offloading fringe players like Matteo Guendouzi, who is rumoured to have agreed a switch to Marseille.
The Gunners will be keen to get this deal over the line in a summer which has already proven to be an incredibly frustrating one.
They are likely to miss out to Aston Villa in their pursuit of Norwich playmaker Emi Buendia, while Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard is understood to favour a move to Leicester and a reunion with Brendan Rodgers.
Plans to push ahead with a deal to sign Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana are still in the pipeline, but things have been complicated by the Cameroon international’s 12-month doping ban which, barring a successful appeal, will keep him sidelined until February 2022.
Centre-back is another area of concern for Arsenal, who have speculatively been linked with expensive youngsters like Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba.