Arsenal are preparing to make their opening offer for Ruben Neves as a midfield replacement for Granit Xhaka, according to a report.

Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United at Molineux, Wolverhampton, England on 5 April 2021. Copyright: Simon Davies
Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United at Molineux, Wolverhampton, England on 5 April 2021. Copyright: Simon Davies

The Telegraph report that Arsenal are poised to make their opening offer for Ruben Neves. The Gunners are expected to make a bid later this week, and the suggestion is Mikel Arteta’s interest stems from his time with Manchester City, when Neves was a target.

The player is open to a transfer following the departure of Nuno Espirito Santo, but Wolves are looking for £40m for the move.

With Granit Xhaka seemingly on the way out, Arsenal are looking at various midfield signings, including Neves and Yves Bissouma.

But the Evening Standard suggest one reason that a move for Neves might be more likely.

With the continuing uncertainty around Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ future, the Standard suggest it could be possible to include the midfielder in a deal for Neves – assuming Wolves remain keen on him.

Wolves were interested in Maitland-Niles last summer, though the interest never moved past their initial low bids. But a part swap deal could now suit all parties.

The Times initially reported that Arsenal had begun work on a deal to sign Neves. The Athletic claimed Arsenal are admirers of the 24-year-old and could move to sign him to play alongside Thomas Partey.

Neves made 40 appearances, scoring five goals, and assisting two. It was the fourth season in a row that he’s made 40+ appearances for Wolves in all competitions – the last three of those in the Premier League.

The Portugal international has two years left on his Wolves contract, and his Euros campaign kicks off next Tuesday, 15th June, with a match against Hungary.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.