In January, Liverpool were heavily linked with FC Porto midfielder Ruben Neves, one of the most talented young players in the game, but at the time the speculation was that it would take at least €40M to pry the 19-year-old away from his boyhood club.
Now, though, according to a report in Diário de Notícias, that asking price has just been cut in half thanks to Porto’s need to sell assets or risk running afoul of financial fair play regulations. Further, they claim at least one English club is interested and that negotiations for the player are ongoing.
While the Portuguese paper don’t name the interested English club, they do remind everybody that Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool have in the past shown an interest in the player. And if that interest ever had any truth to it, it would be difficult to imagine Liverpool wouldn’t be interested now.
Neves is part of a golden generation of young Portuguese midfielders, a tactically and technically canny player with all the tools to become a star. He has the versatility to line up alongside either Emre Can or Jordan Henderson in a double-pivot. He has already captained his side in the Champions League.
He is, by almost every account, an equal midfield prospect to Borussia Monchengladbach’s Mahmoud Dahoud, and if that deal has stalled with the German club unwilling to sell another midfielder this summer, and if Neves really might be had for as little as €20M, Liverpool must move for him.
Neves would instantly improve Liverpool, giving them a three-man rotation at CM similar to the current situation at AM where Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, and Sadio Mané will be competing for minutes at three positions. And he’s got plenty of room to grow.
The player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is said to currently be at work negotiating his departure. Hopefully, the coming days will bring with them confirmation from the Liverpool end that Neves will be departing FC Porto to join Jürgen Klopp’s Reds.