Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta considers £50m Wolves transfer target 'key to rebuilding plans' – Express

Arsenal Mikel Arteta
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is said to consider Ruben Neves ‘key to his rebuilding plans’ as the Gunners plot a £50million summer transfer. The north London club were hopeful of agreeing a deal last summer when they opened talks with the player’s entourage but Granit Xhaka eventually stayed put, instead signing a new contract at the Emirates Stadium.
Prior to that, Xhaka looked destined to join Jose Mourinho at Roma after Euro 2020.
The transfer was gathering pace ahead of the tournament before a dramatic U-turn saw the Swiss international signed on the dotted line after being offered improved terms.
Neves, who will be sidelined until at least May with a knee injury, was identified as the top target should Xhaka depart but now the Gunners are ready to reignite their interest.
Wolves have now opened talks with the Portuguese star over a new contract but understandably, Neves is eyeing Champions League football.
READ MORE: Archaf Hakimi ‘freaking out’ over PSG exit as Lionel Messi and Neymar ‘don’t speak to him’Arsenal target Ruben NevesAccording to The Sun, Arsenal boss Arteta believes Neves could be key to his rebuild as he prepares to launch another assault for the talented technician.
His current Wolves deal is due to run until the summer of 2024, meaning the Black Country club still hold all the cards in their quest to keep the 25-year-old.
Neves’ passing ability and long-range shooting see him widely recognised as one of the best players in the Premier League outside of the Big Six.
Manchester United are also thought to be keen on signing the former Porto captain, who moved to Molineux in the summer of 2017.
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His £15.8m move to Wolves remains a Championship record but Wolves could be set to net over three times that figure if they are to agree to a sale.
Earlier in the season, Bruno Lage hinted that Neves had turned down bigger offers in favour of staying at Wolves – something that he would reap the rewards from further down the line.
“If he continues to play well he will continue to be part of the project. I see him training very hard with a big ambition to improve himself. There is no secrets, if he trains the way he trains, he plays the way he is playing.
“This is life after the big teams come for this player. I live with the rumour he can leave but he stayed with us. In this way he took the best decision. Don’t go, stay and continue to improve with us and help us to be better. Let’s see what happens.
“What Nuno did was very good and I want to continue with that. The project is to take Wolves to the next step. From the club’s side we need to conquer our players to stay with us.
“Not just with a contract and salary but more ambition to be better.”
Arsenal are expected to have plenty of funds to play with this summer – particularly if they secure fourth and the return of Champions League football.
Playing in Europe’s elite club competition may also help them in their quest to attract top talent ahead of the summer transfer window.
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