Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho interested in signing Ruben Neves in the summer…

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has reportedly set his sights on Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves this summer in a bid to strengthen his midfield. It is alleged by The Sun that Ander Herrera faces a likely exit from the Theatre of Dreams. Spanish outlet El Gol Digital have suggested that the 20-year-old has caught the eye of compatriot Mourinho this season. Neves signed for the Championship club in the summer from FC Porto for a fee of £15 million.

Neves has been paired with fellow Portuguese Romain Saiss this season and after a string of good performances in the Championship with Wolves heading for a return to the Premier League, it may see some competition from other big clubs for Neves before the summer transfer window even opens. Herrera has been stated as the player Neves could replace, even after United activated the 12-month additional clause on the player’s contract, it hardly suggests the player has the security of remaining at the Old Trafford club.

Herrera is caught up in a Spanish match-fixing probe which will go to trial in Spain and Herrera could end up with a ban from the game and a prison sentence, which would be the worst-case scenario. It has been suggested that prosecutors have asked for a six-year ban from football and a two-year prison sentence, which would be suspended, being a first offence, and the length of the sentence. There have been reports suggesting prosecutors want a four-year prison sentence and a six-year ban from football, which if it happened, would end the career of Herrera.

Herrera has been a target for many clubs in the past few years with Barcelona said to be interested in the 28-year-old last summer, but nothing really materialised of that. Reports have suggested that AC Milan have been said to be interested with United reportedly asking for £30 million for Herrera’s services. The season before Mourinho became the United manager, Herrera was said to be the only player deemed worthy of wearing the captain’s armband for United, less than two years later, that does not seem to be the case anymore.

Neves is surely a talented player and after a great season with Wolves, will have propelled his stock in the world of football. The Portuguese international has played 32 Championship matches this season, scoring four goals, attempting 66 shots on goal, 16 of which were on target. He may not be a player deemed worthy of Manchester United right now, but as a player for the future. United seem to be seeking young players who could learn from the likes of Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, and Michael Carrick, who next season could be on the coaching staff.

Neves is described as a defensive midfielder with no fear to get forward and help or even start an attack. During his career so far, the Portuguese midfielder has shown great maturity, accurate passing, great vision and an astute sense of positioning. He has been compared to fellow Portuguese midfielder João Moutinho for his fine first touch, the desire to press his opponents and the excellent distribution skills he possesses. If United and Mourinho are interested in Neves, he would be a gamble but maybe one the club and manager could reap the rewards from.

copyright: JW