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Arsenal may have the perfect shirt number to offer Ruben Neves as they line up a bid for the Wolves midfielder. An offer is even reportedly set to be tabled this week ahead of Portugal’s Euro 2020 campaign getting underway a week on Tuesday against Hungary.
The summer transfer window opens this coming Wednesday and the Gunners are moving forward with their many plans, which include an ambition to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s midfield options.
Brighton’s Yves Bissouma and Sheffield United’s Sander Berge are also on their radar but it appears Wolves’ Neves is their preferred target.
The Daily Mail even say Wolves are expecting an opening offer for Neves from the north London club in the coming days.
It is mentioned Wolves could hold out for a fee similar to the £41million price tag they sold Diogo Jota to Wolves for last year.
The Midlands outfit are however crucially willing to part ways with the Portugal international in order to help reshape their squad under a new manager, potentially Bruno Lage, this summer.
The two clubs have been in contact about Neves and the Mail add the player has indicated to his Wolves team-mates that he’d like to move to the Emirates before the summer is out.
And Arsenal have the perfect shirt number to hand the 24-year-old should they successfully bring him down to the capital.
Neves has worn the No 8 jersey in his four seasons with Wolves having previously donned the No 6 at Porto.
For Portugal, for whom he has amassed 20 caps, he currently wears the No 18 having previously owned the No 13 shirt as well as wearing No 6 at under-21 level.
Gabriel Magalhaes has the No 6 shirt at Arsenal but the No 8 is free with Dani Ceballos returning to Real Madrid after two years of wearing it while on loan at the club.
The Spain midfielder is not expected to be signed permanently by Arsenal and that will leave the number Neves currently wears for Wolves available to him with the Gunners.
Previous players to wear the No 8 for Arsenal include manager Aaron Ramsey, Arteta, Samir Nasri and club legends Freddie Ljungberg and Ian Wright.
Interest in Neves comes with the likes of the Roma-linked Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira all expected to depart Arsenal this summer.
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The former Porto midfielder could come into the midfield as Thomas Partey’s new partner following a successful 176-game spell with Wolves that has yielded 20 goals and 10 assists.
Neves was a vital member of the Nuno Espirito Santo-managed side that won the Championship title and was named the club’s Player of the Year that season.
He also helped Wolves to back-to-back seventh-placed finishes in the Premier League as well as reaching the Europa League quarter-finals in 2019-20.
Arsenal are set for a huge overhaul this summer with it having been claimed Arteta is keen to make a minimum of five additions, all in different positions.
Much of the Londoners’ business will depend on which current players leave the club with Hector Bellerin, Bernd Leno, Willian and Alexandre Lacazette among the regular starters who may leave.
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