Arsenal ‘already negotiating’ with Ruben Neves as Man Utd transfer race heats up

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Arsenal are already negotiating with Wolves over the signing of Ruben Neves, according to reports. The Gunners are looking to strengthen their squad following a disappointing 2020/21 campaign and Neves is one of the players they are reportedly keen on adding to Mikel Arteta’s side.

The north London club are understood to be in the market for as many as five new players, with several squad members set to be moved on.

One area which is likely to be strengthened is central midfield where Arsenal have a multitude of unconvincing options.

Doubts remain over the likes of Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Reiss Nelson, while Lucas Torreira, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock all face uncertain futures after spending time out on loan in the 2020/21 season.

Neves made 40 appearances across all competitions under Nuno Espirito Santo last season, returning five goals and one assist in the Premier League.

And according to Portuguese outlet Record, Arsenal are ‘already negotiating’ with Wolves and Neves’ representatives over a possible summer transfer.

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The 24-year-old midfielder is under contract with Wolves until 2024 and new manager Bruno Lage is keen to keep hold of him, meaning a ‘large’ transfer fee will be required to sign him.

The Athletic have previously reported that Wolves value Neves at around £45million – the same amount Arsenal paid Atletico Madrid for Thomas Partey last year.

But the Gunners are not the only side interested in securing Neves this summer, with reports in late June linking Manchester United with the Portuguese international.

Eurosport journalist Dean Jones told the Football Terrace podcast that United were “still in discussions” over Neves, who was one of the names on their transfer shortlist.

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Both clubs have also been linked with Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, who looks set to leave the French side this summer.

Camavinga has entered the final 12 months of his contract with Rennes and has been touted as one of the most talented young players in the world.

Arsenal are perhaps unlikely to join the race for Camavinga, with a deal for Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga nearing completion.

According to The Guardian, Arsenal have agreed to pay £14.95m (€17.5m) plus add-ons that could take the fee for the Belgian to about £17.94 (€21m).

Lokonga is expected to follow Benfica Nuno Tavares through the door at the Emirates after the Gunners paid £6.8m for the left-back.

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