Rumour mongers have been linking Liverpool with Porto's Ruben Neves off and on since January. According to a fresh set, they may even now be leading the chase. At the very least, reports they have regularly been scouting Neves in recent months and sent a man to watch him become the youngest captain in Champions League history on Tuesday would seem to speak to serious interest.
Neves is only 18 years old but has already become a fixture in Porto's midfield, and he set that record when he was given the armband against Maccabi Tel Aviv this week. He has regularly been given the captaincy in league matches this season as well. Over the summer, he became the youngest ever player to be capped for Portugal's U21s, and he is widely expected to make his senior international debut in November.
He is, by any accounts, already well past the stage of being dubbed a top prospect. He's already the first name on the teamsheet in Porto's midfield, a lock to start in Champions League and league matches, a powerful player who likes to sit deep and is equally adept at launching incisive attacks as he is at screening the backline. In another year, if he continues to progress, he will be talked about as Paul Pogba is today.
He is, potentially, a superstar. He is, potentially, the talent of his generation in Portugal. Even if his development stalls, he's already good enough at 18 years of age to have legitimately earned his pending call-up to the senior national team. And, as the rumours have it, Liverpool's oft-derided transfer committee really, really want to bring him to Anfield while his fee would only be in the realm of eye-watering.
Previous rumours in the Mirror had Jürgen Klopp giving his blessing to the committee's interest, and to making a January move for a player who would easily end up costing the club more than the £20M they paid Benfica for Lazar Markovic. Whether they get him is anybody's guess. That one of Europe's richer clubs will shortly pay a great deal of money for Ruben Neves, though, is certainty.
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