The Gunners have been scouting Ruben Neves for the longest time as Mikel Arteta wants him as the long-term replacement for Roma-bound Granit Xhaka. But if Crook is right then Manchester United seem to have stolen a march in this transfer race.
“Neves is another player Mikel Arteta has been monitoring very closely, but the trail seems to have gone cold there over a move to Arsenal,” Crook told talkSPORT.
“Wolves have their price tag, £35m, and they’re willing to do business to try and generate some funds for their new manager Bruno Lage.
“Liverpool were mentioned to me, but there’s definite interest from Manchester United.
“Ruben Neves is a Portuguese teammate of Bruno Fernandes and he is actively trying to push Neves towards Old Trafford.
“They do want another midfielder regardless of Paul Pogba’s future at the club.”
Can Arsenal sign Ruben Neves before Man United?
Man United need to bring in a world-class defensive midfielder for the new season and someone like Ruben Neves will be the perfect upgrade to Fred or even Scott McTominay.
But having said that, Arsenal can still move ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign the 24-year-old.
Right now, Man United have several central/defensive midfielders in their first-team squad so it will be really hard for Solskjaer to guarantee Ruben Neves a regular place in the starting line-up.
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Arsenal, on the other hand, can easily incorporate the Wolves man into their line-up once Granit Xhaka’s move to Roma has been confirmed.
The lack of European football might be a hurdle for the Gunners but we don’t think Ruben Neves will be too delighted at the prospect of warming the benches at United next season.
The fact that Wolves value the 24-year-old at just £35 million means neither Man United nor Arsenal are going to cool their interest any time soon.