Bruno Lage has spoken to the media about Ruben Neves, as Arsenal express interest in bringing the Wolves maestro to north London.
What is the story?
Well, it was the Evening Standard who revealed that Arsenal are admirers of the Portugal international, who is a key player for Wolves.
Lage is clearly only too aware of this, as he has now imposed a significant price on Wolves’ No.8 header.
As quoted by the Express and the Star, the 45-year-old said: “What I do know is that we have a special player here with us. It’s not just Wolves these days which club can refuse an offer of 80, 90 or 100 million pounds? Five or six. I would have preferred to stay with Joao Felix at Benfica, but 120 million euros came and he left.
Obviously, Arsenal will have to spend a club-record fee if they want to sign Neves, as Lage makes it clear he would take at least £80million.
If the Gunners hit that asking price, it would smash their existing transfer record, which stands at £72million spent on Nicolas Pepe.
So far this season, Neves has scored four goals in 28 Premier League appearances, while providing two assists.
Arsenal must ignore Ruben Neves
If Wolves hold out for £80million, Arsenal must look elsewhere.
If the central midfield department was the only problem at the Emirates Stadium, then maybe Mikel Arteta could accept the asking price as Neves is a superb player.
However, the Gunners have yet to sign an outstanding centre-forward, possibly even two with Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah set to become free agents in June.
There are also some issues in the full-backs department, as Nuno Tavares was substituted at half-time against Crystal Palace, having come off even earlier against Nottingham Forest.
With a new replacement for Kieran Tierney and a striker needed, Arsenal simply cannot afford to spend £80m on Neves, no matter how good he is.
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