Rumour Has It: Barcelona optimistic about Neves chances as Wolves sign replacement

By Sports Desk January 30, 2023

Barcelona feel Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has one foot out of the door and are optimistic about their chance of signing him at the end of the season.

Neves, 25, has spent the past six seasons with Wolves after arriving during their last season in the Championship (2017-18), racking up over 200 appearances for the club along with 28 goals.

The central midfielder, a regular for Portugal, has caught the eye of Europe's elite clubs.

Wolves had been hopeful of extending Neves' stay at the club, but with their future in the Premier League in doubt, they might have already started to plan for life without him.

 

TOP STORY – WOLVES SIGNING INDICATES LOOMING NEVES DEPARTURE

According to Sport, Barcelona believe Wolves are signing 21-year-old Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomes as a direct replacement for Neves, who they expect to leave at the end of the season.

The report states Barcelona know what it will cost to pry him away from the Premier League and are comfortable with the price, which is said to be "much more feasible" than the €60million price tag for Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi.

Real Madrid are also expected to pursue Neves, who they reportedly feel has "the potential to become the new Casemiro".

 

ROUND-UP

– The Telegraph and Fabrizio Romano state Chelsea will make another run at signing 22-year-old Benfica and Argentina standout Enzo Fernandez, and are willing to meet the £105m (€120m) release clause if they can pay it in installments.

– According to Bild, Tottenham have submitted a £22m (€25m) verbal offer to Bayer Leverkusen for 21-year-old Ecuador centre-back Piero Hincapie.

Newcastle United have had their latest £20m offer for 18-year-old Flamengo midfielder Matheus Franca turned down, per Fabrizio Romano.

– Newcastle are also said to be looking to replace Jonjo Shelvey, who is set to join Nottingham Forest, with Sheffield United's Sander Berge.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Brighton and Hove Albion have rejected a £70m approach from Arsenal for 21-year-old midfielder Moises Caicedo, and are holding out for £80m.

– According to Sport, there is mutual interest between Barca and Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix, who will spend the rest of the season on loan at Chelsea.

Related items

  • Carlo Ancelotti urges Real Madrid to beat Barcelona and move closer to title Carlo Ancelotti urges Real Madrid to beat Barcelona and move closer to title

    Carlo Ancelotti has urged Real Madrid not to pass up the chance to edge closer to the LaLiga title with an El Clasico victory over arch-rivals Barcelona.

    The sides meet at the Bernabeu on Sunday with leaders Madrid eight points clear of second-placed Barca and acutely aware of just how significant a win could be with just seven games of the season remaining.

    Ancelotti told a press conference: “If we manage to win it, we’ll be within touching distance of LaLiga.

    “We’re playing against highly competitive opposition who have played brilliantly in recent games. It will be a hard-fought and evenly-matched Clasico, as they always are.

    “It’s a great opportunity to move closer to the LaLiga title, but we know how difficult it will be because Barcelona are still very much in it.”

    Ancelotti’s men are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions culminating in Wednesday night’s dramatic penalty shoot-out victory at Manchester City which booked their place in the Champions League semi-finals.

    They have lost only once in the league all season – in September – and even the hugely-experienced Italian is excited at the prospect of what lies ahead.

    He said: “We’re doing a fantastic job. The cake is ready, out of the oven and all we have to do now is ice it this month. It’s a decisive month and we’re heading into it in a great position.”

    Ancelotti has a near full complement of players from which to pick from with only defender David Alaba currently not on the training pitch.

    Barca will run out in Madrid still licking their wounds after Tuesday night’s Champions League exit at the hands of Paris St Germain, and knowing they will have to do something special to reel in the leaders.

    Head coach Xavi told a press conference: “For us, it is the most important game of the season. We have to win and put pressure on the leaders. We are going to try to compete and win at the Bernabeu.

    “We will find a strong Madrid, and even more so after eliminating the best team in the world, (Manchester) City. Euphoria will be through the roof and they are a very strong rival.

    “Today we trained well; yesterday we were hungover from the Champions League. The team has all the enthusiasm in the world to fight for this league.”

    Xavi has immense respect for Madrid’s efforts to date, but knows his side are not far behind where it was at the same stage last season before going on to win the title.

    He said: “We have all the respect in the world for Madrid and their numbers are extraordinary – ours too because we have only four points fewer than last season.”

  • Exeter record impressive win at Northampton Exeter record impressive win at Northampton

    Ten-man Exeter continued their excellent form with a late 2-1 victory at Northampton.

    The Grecians played the whole second half a man down but extended their unbeaten run to nine games thanks to Will Aimson’s 83rd minute winner.

    The visitors opened the scoring at Sixfields when Harris collected Dion Rankine’s pass on 20 minutes and fired in off the post.

    Jake Richards went close to adding to City’s lead before an almighty goalmouth scramble at the other end saw Louis Appere, Mitch Pinnock and Marc Leonard all have efforts either blocked or saved.

    Exeter lost a man in first-half stoppage-time with Ryan Woods sent off for violent conduct after clashing with home captain Jon Guthrie.

    Northampton inevitably dominated possession in the second half but it took until the 74th minute for the equaliser to arrive when Exeter failed to deal with a long throw and Guthrie stabbed in the loose ball.

    But despite their numerical disadvantage, the visitors snatched victory thanks to Aimson, who ghosted in at the back post to convert Zak Jules’ cross seven minutes from time.

  • Emma Hayes focused on second leg after historic win for Chelsea in Barcelona Emma Hayes focused on second leg after historic win for Chelsea in Barcelona

    Emma Hayes had mixed feelings despite seeing Chelsea condemn holders Barcelona to a first home defeat for five years and edge closer to the Champions League final.

    Erin Cuthbert’s first-half goal clinched a precious 1-0 semi-final first-leg win at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys to set the Women’s Super League leaders up perfectly for the return at Stamford Bridge next Saturday.

    It was a first competitive victory for the Blues over Barca, who knocked them out at the same stage last season on their way to a second European title, and came courtesy of a superb defensive effort – but boss Hayes was left wondering what might have been.

    She told DAZN: “It’s just half-time. Nobody should get carried away with that and to be honest, I’m disappointed we didn’t get the second goal.

    “It’s a difficult place to come and they carried out the game plan I asked them to do – so from that perspective, I’m happy.”

    The Blues had to soak up early pressure but did so to such effect that Barca did not muster a single shot on target during a tense encounter.

    Cuthbert’s 40th-minute strike gave the visitors the lead and, having seen French referee Stephanie Frappart reverse her decision to award a penalty against Kadeisha Buchanan for handball after the break, they might have increased their advantage.

    Salma Paralluelo and substitute Alexia Putellas could have salvaged a draw amid a late flurry but Chelsea held firm.

    Hayes is well aware of the threat Barcelona will pose in the second leg.

    Hayes said: “I think I know how to come away from home and get a result. We have under-performed against Barcelona at home.

    “Barcelona have another level in them and I think that’s clear. Maybe they don’t feel they were at their best today and we have to anticipate that.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.