With Jordan Henderson’s injury record a concern and Emre Can expected to depart in the summer, signing a player capable of anchoring midfield in the six is arguably Liverpool’s biggest priority for the coming summer transfer window.
There have already been a handful of names linked, but by far the favourite of fans is Napoli’s exceptional Jorginho. He could have some competition, though, in the form of one time—and possibly now once again—Liverpool transfer target Ruben Neves.
The dynamic 21-year-old Portuguese star was linked with an Anfield move back in his Porto days but a move never materialised. Then, last summer, he made a shock £15M switch to Championship side Wolverhampton.
A connection off the pitch between the two clubs helped to make the unexpected deal happen, taking one of the game’s brightest young stars to England’s second tier, but the end goal for the player was never staying at Wolves.
Even as they’ve dominated the Championship and secured promotion—in large part because of Neves, who was runner up to Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon as Player of the Year in the division—the assumption has been that he’ll be moving on.
And now, Portuguese journalist Marcus Alves of UOL has claimed that he’s likely going to Liverpool, with 24-year-old Brazilian Anderson Talisca already lined up to come in from Benfica as his replacement.
As exciting a prospect as Jorginho was for Liverpool fans when linked with the club, Neves will be at least equally so—slightly less proven but five years younger, with more upside, and seemingly ready to make an instant impact for a top side.
At Porto he was one of the most exciting prospects in the game. At Wolves, he’s proven out that promise. The price will be steep—Wolves’ £15M fee will have come with a massive sell-on clause—but worth it for whatever club signs him.