Report: Man United leading arch-rivals in pursuit of £35m-rated midfield star

Manchester United to beat Arsenal in signing Ruben Neves

According to ESPN, Manchester United could pip Arsenal to the signing of Ruben Neves. Arsenal were understood to be leading the race for the Wolves midfielder and Wolves were also open to a £35m sale. However, Paul Pogba’s uncertain future has put United on the front foot to secure the signing of Neves.

The Portuguese international is one of the best young midfielders in the league. A seasoned midfielder too, the 24-year-old is at the right point in his career to take the next step. He is yet to reach his prime and United could have him for the best years of his career.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United Premier League 05/04/2021. Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves 8 during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United at Molineux, Wolverhampton, England on 5 April 2021.

Nine years down the line, Manchester United are in a very familiar position with Pogba. In 2012, United lost him to Juventus for free, receiving a paltry compensation fee. They spent a record fee to get him back in 2016 but face the prospect of losing him again for free next season.

Due to the same, they are looking at possible replacements namely Neves (h/t ESPN). The Pogba situation has forced the club to push ahead for Neves ahead of Arsenal. The Gunners were hoping to get him to replace Granit Xhaka, who might be heading to Roma. Spurs were also said to be interested.

Manchester United, ManU v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – Old Trafford Manchester United s Paul Pogba left and Wolverhampton Wanderers Ruben Neves battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

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United know the qualities Neves brings. They have seen him first-hand in the Premier League and should go all out for him if Pogba does leave. He is a bit more defensive but often contributes to the attack. £35m is a modest price and United would do well to move ahead of Arsenal and sign him.