Manchester City’s well-documented pursuit of a new central midfield player has formed the core club narrative away from the field during the past twelve months but the signing of a long-term Fernandinho replacement continues to elude them.
The months of speculation which heavily linked Jorginho with a move to the Etihad Stadium carried a feeling of inevitability with them shortly before he joined Chelsea; it became a case of if, not when Jorginho joined during the summer window, but that notion was firmly quashed by the Italian’s decision to follow Maurizio Sarri to West London.
Following Jorginho’s u-turn, Miralem Pjanic emerged from a whirlwind of rumours as the most likely candidate to solve Pep Guardiola’s most glaring shortage. But the Bosnia international penned a new deal with the Old Lady shortly after the English window slammed shut, putting any straggling rumours firmly to rest in the process.
The injury to Kevin De Bruyne has injected new life into speculation concerning City’s hunt for a midfield acquisition despite the fact he will have returned to first-team football when the January window opens for business. And the latest target to reportedly emerge is Wolves’ Ruben Neves – a player who looks destined for a glowing career at just 21-years-of-age.
According to a recent report from Goal, Neves is at the forefront of City’s thinking as they explore the market for a new midfield maestro and there is a suggestion that the positive relationship between Txiki Begiristain and Jorge Mendes could facilitate a potential transfer.
The recent report suggests Man City fans might be finally set to welcome the type of player they have been waiting for: a deep-lying midfield player who possesses the technical attributes to seamlessly slot into Guardiola’s free-flowing system and the discipline to provide a shield in-front of the back-four.
Neves joined Wolves for a fee of just £16 million in July 2017 and he lived up to his enormous reputation by playing a starring role in the Wanderers’ promotion bid. From the middle of the park Neves provided the club with a lynchpin to dictate proceedings and provide moments of magic on a consistent basis.
Considering what he has achieved at just 21, it’s easy to understand why the centurions are keeping tabs on his development. Despite the fact he signed for just £16 million, there is no doubt the Porgutuese playmaker will now command an extortionate fee and, if Wolves were willing to sell, they would be certain to make a huge profit on their investment.
Neves is slowly becoming one of the most highly regarded young players on the continent and if he continues to blossom with Wolves in the coming months then City supporters could be set to finally close an extensive chapter in their recent history by welcoming him to the Etihad in January.
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