Arsenal poised to make opening offer for Ruben Neves with Wolves hoping for £40m

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Ruben Neves is open to leaving Wolves this summer - GETTY IMAGES
Ruben Neves is open to leaving Wolves this summer - GETTY IMAGES

Wolves are ready to demand a minimum £40 million for Ruben Neves, as Arsenal prepare to make a move after clearing Granit Xhaka to join Jose Mourinho’s Roma.

Xhaka is closing in on a switch to Serie A for a fee of around £15 million to bring his eventful five-year spell at the Emirates to an end.

The Switzerland international’s imminent departure leaves Mikel Arteta in desperate need of midfielders and Neves is high on Arsenal’s list of potential replacements.

Neves is open to the prospect of leaving Wolves this summer after four years under Nuno Espírito Santo, who departed by mutual agreement last month, but the Midlands club are understood to be seeking a minimum £40 million.

Wolves sold Diogo Jota to Liverpool last year for a fee which could reach £45 million after instalments and it is understood a similar figure will be sought for Neves.

The Portugal international was a target for Manchester City during Arteta’s spell as Pep Guardiola’s assistant and an opening offer is expected from Arsenal later this week.

Wolves are understood to be keen on selling players to raise funds for incoming new head coach Bruno Lage, but will demand a significant fee for Neves, 24, who has vast Premier League experience.

With doubts over the future of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock this summer, Arsenal are prioritising midfield positions.

With new director of football operations Richard Garlick now in position at Arsenal, Arteta knows the club’s transfer business over the summer will be crucial, with player sales required to boost their spending power. Brighton’s Yves Bissouma is another option for Arsenal.

Xhaka was signed by former Gunners manager Arsene Wenger for £34 million from Borussia Monchengladbach in May 2016.