Man Utd snub lets Wolves secure £20m transfer with big ramifications for Ruben Neves and Arsenal

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Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United, Wolves, August 2021, Credit: PA Images
Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United, Wolves, August 2021, Credit: PA Images

Joao Palhinha has agreed to join Wolves for £20m after failing to entice Man Utd, and the move could have big implications for Ruben Neves and Arsenal, per a report.

Neves, 25, is strongly being tipped to leave Wolves this summer. The midfield maestro has pulled the string at Molineux for five years and has always performed to a consistently high level.

Arsenal and Manchester United are the two English clubs most frequently linked with a raid. Any move is likely to cost in the region of £50m, though both the Gunners and Red Devils have other irons in the fire.

Indeed, Manchester United are chasing Frenkie de Jong, while Arsenal are in the mix for Youri Tielemans. Though should their first-choice moves fall flat, Neves would represent a more than adequate alternative.

For Neves to leave, however, Wolves must first line up a suitable replacement. And according to the Sun, that’s exactly what they’re about to do.

The newspaper state 26-year-old Sporting Lisbon midfielder, Joao Palhinha, has ‘agreed to join Wolves’. The deal will set Bruno Lage’s men back £20m and super agent Jorge Mendes is leading negotiations.

The outlet claim Palhinha was in fact hoping to secure a move to Old Trafford. Indeed, Man Utd scouts were reportedly in attendance to watch Palhinha during a feisty clash with FC Porto in February.

Yet concrete interest from United has failed to materialise and Palhinha will now accept a switch to Wolves. The report added the deal is set to be ‘confirmed in the coming days’. The Premier League transfer window officially opens on June 10.

With Palhinha reportedly on the way, Wolves may now be more willing to accept Neves’ departure. Aside from Man Utd and Arsenal, Barcelona are also in the frame for his signature.

Neves left the door ajar to an exit with his eye-catching comments after Wolves’ final match of the season. The Sun note the Portuguese is also stalling over signing a new contract which expires in 2024.

Joao Palhinha signing, Ruben Neves sale = smart business?

It is always a risk to replace a proven player with one who will be new to the league. However, Palhinha is a fully-fledged Portugal international with 12 caps to his name since making his debut in 2021.

He is slightly more defensive-minded, meaning Wolves may lose a touch of creativity that Neves brings.

However, at 26, he is in his prime and has years of high-pressure football under his belt having been a mainstay in Sporting’s battles at the top of the Primeira Liga with Porto and Benfica.

What’s more, Wolves may be able to make a £30m profit out of the Palhinha and Neves deals. That financial aspect cannot be overlooked and would allow Lage to invest in other areas of his squad.

The article Man Utd snub lets Wolves secure £20m transfer with big ramifications for Ruben Neves and Arsenal appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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