Barcelona edge closer to signing 25-year-old Portugal star: Reports

Xavi Hernandez has been on the hunt for a first-team midfielder for quite a while.
Xavi Hernandez has been on the hunt for a first-team midfielder for quite a while.

Barcelona have reportedly edged closer to signing Wolverhampton Wanderers star Ruben Neves in the upcoming summer transfer window.

Neves, 25, has been a key dressing room presence for Wolves since arriving from Porto for a fee in the region of €18 million in 2017. Since then, he has helped the west Midlands club achieve Premier League promotion and establish themselves as a mid-table outfit.

A right-footed holding midfielder renowned for his passing and shooting, the 35-cap Portugal international has been speculated to secure a move away from the Molineux Stadium of late. With him being in the final 18 months of his contract, he has popped up on the radar of clubs like Barcelona and even Liverpool.

Ruben Neves on Barcelona links: “If you ask in general, all players want to play for Barca! It’s one of the best clubs in the world. It's a privilege for me to be linked to this team”. 🔵🔴 #FCB“Who wouldn't want to play for Barcelona? It’s normal”, he added.

According to SPORT, Barcelona is in pole position to sign Neves on a permanent transfer ahead of the upcoming 2023-24 campaign. The La Liga giants are not in a financially stable position to conclude a deal this month, hence, the club will launch a move in the summer.

Wolves, on the other hand, are on the verge of completing a permanent move for Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomes in the final days of the winter transfer window. His €17 million arrival could signal the end of Neves' successful six-year stint at Julen Lopetegui's side.

Meanwhile, Barcelona has ended their transfer pursuit of Martin Zubimendi, who has long been viewed as an ideal replacement for Sergio Busquets. However, the Real Sociedad ace's €60 million release clause is deemed unaffordable by the top brass at Camp Nou.

Neves, who helped Portugal lift the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League, has scored 28 goals and laid out 12 assists in 237 games for Wolves.

Ruben Neves 🐺Against Man Utd 🔴Unforgettable 🔥#GoalOfTheDay | @Wolves

Barcelona star in line for wage hike due to sublime outings this season: Reports

According to Fichajes, Barcelona is keen to sit down with Ousmane Dembele's representatives to negotiate a contract extension. Although the forward penned a one-year deal last summer, he is expected to be offered a wage hike to reflect his recent fine performances.

However, it is still unknown whether the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner will decide to sit down to discuss improved terms with the Blaugrana.

Dembele, 25, has been a standout star in the Catalan giants' ongoing La Liga title push. So far, he has registered eight goals and seven assists in 28 appearances across all competitions this campaign.

Since arriving from Borussia Dortmund for €140 million in the summer of 2017, the France international has helped his side lift six trophies.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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