MANCHESTER UNITED are determined to sign Ruben Neves this month.
Wolves midfielder Neves, 24, has two years left on his current deal at Molineux – but has spoken of his desire to play in the Champions League.
United have been mulling over a potential bid for the Portuguese international since the summer with ex-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a big fan.
And SunSport understands United could make an offer of around £35million to lure Neves – a client of Jorge Mendes – away from the Midlands this month.
Wolves, however, are believed to only be listening to offers upwards of £40m for their star man – who has also drawn interest from Arsenal in the past.
Neves is happy at Wolves, but is unlikely to sign an extension on his deal as he eyes the next stage in his development.
United interim boss Ralf Rangnick is on the look-out for a new midfielder after poor performances from the likes of Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred since his arrival.
The German coach had a front row seat to see Neves’ abilities as Wolves claimed a 1-0 victory over United at Old Trafford on Monday.
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There are some concerns that Rangnick would prefer a midfield signing from the Bundesliga – a division he knows well and trusts.
Wolves manager Bruno Lage – yet another client of Mendes– is desperate to keep hold of Neves.
Lage said: “It’s not about a contract or money. It’s about creating a big team that fights for different things.
"Ruben is in that place where he needs a different challenge. And we also want a different challenge for the club. We want to push younger guys, like Ruben, to the next level.”
Neves signed for Wolves from Porto in the summer of 2017, becoming a mainstay in the side that was promoted to the Premier League a year later before qualifying for Europe.
Asked about his own future in December, the midfielder added: “The future will be seen soon.
“I like to live in the present and I'm happy, I feel great in Wolverhampton and I'll focus here, because if I do things right I'm sure the future will be bright.”
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