Wolves star Ruben Neves reportedly ‘showed little willingness’ to join Manchester United this summer despite interest from Erik ten Hag’s side.
Neves has continually been linked with a move away from Molineux, with Liverpool and Arsenal joining United in holding a long-term interest in the Portugal international.
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A report on Thursday claimed Neves is the ‘main candidate’ to replace Sergio Busquets as Barcelona’s midfield general.
The club’s financial problems held them back from making a bid for the 25-year-old in the summer, with manager Xavi seeing Neves as a ‘priority’.
Barcelona may have upped their attempts to sign Neves if they sold Frenkie de Jong during the summer window.
Speaking earlier this month, Neves admitted he was sure he wouldn’t be a Wolves player come the end of the summer transfer window.
He said: “At that time almost everything was ready for me to go, but this is football and you can see I am completely focused on being here.
“What I am doing and what the team is doing since the start of the season means that I am 100 per cent focused on here. I want to keep going and have another great season here.”
According to Sport (via Sport Witness), Neves is ‘convinced’ by Xavi’s project at Barcelona, which explains his lack of interest in a move to United.
He ‘showed little willingness’ to negotiate a move to Old Trafford despite the United bosses ‘contacting the agents’ of the Wolves midfielder to discuss a possible deal.
Barcelona, via super-agent Jorge Mendes, reportedly asked Wolves to lower their £44m valuation but the Premier League side wouldn’t budge.
Despite realising Barcelona wouldn’t be able to fund a move for him, Neves was happy to wait for his dream move next summer, with the Catalans and Wolves still said to be on good terms.
Neves started both of Portugal’s Nations League games in the international break – the 4-0 win over Czech Republic and the 1-0 defeat to Spain – and is expected to play a big part in their World Cup campaign in Qatar.