Manchester United have been linked with a variety of different midfielders So far this summer.
From Declan Rice to Eduardo Camavinga Saul Niguez to Yves Bissouma, speculation has been rife. And Ruben Neves is the latest name to add to that list.
Manchester United are determined to win the Premier League title next time out.
They’ve had to live without the prize every year since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, finishing in the top two just twice in the eight years since.
But, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, they appear to be plodding along nicely.
Though the Norwegian is yet to win a trophy as manager, he’s reset the culture of the club. His reign was always going to be about constant evolution – and he’s definitely delivered on that front.
United are, in many ways, unrecognisable from the turgid outfit they resembled during Jose Mourinho’s final few dark days at the helm.
And this summer, they’re a big club acting accordingly.
With the Glazers shaken into action by the European Super League debacle, and the stunning protests that followed, they’re now taking things seriously again.
Tom Heaton has signed, Jadon Sancho’s move should be announced soon and all signs are pointing to them concluding a deal for Raphael Varane, too.
And then there’s the midfield.
Regardless of what happens with Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek, they’re set on reinforcing that area.
Solskjaer plans to make his side more gung-ho next term and, in recent days, Neves’ name has been brought into the picture.
Wolves are open to cutting the Portugal international loose as they, like many other clubs at home and overseas, explore ways to balance the books in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
And, in Bruno Fernandes, United have already signed the perfect partner in crime.
Neves can bring brawn and brilliance to this Red Devils midfield, being a smooth operator on the ball and defensively adept.
He can be a conductor and, potentially, can help Fernandes get even better. Which is quite something when you think of the 26-year-old’s stats over the past month.
United were a club in crisis prior to Fernandes’ arrival but, ever since he joined, the former Sporting Lisbon star has delivered with unnerving consistency.
He’ll have to wait on the No 8 shirt but that’s where Solskjaer intends to play him next season. In an attacking midfield role, but alongside Paul Pogba instead of by himself.
In order for that to happen, however, they need somebody to pull the strings in a deeper role.
And that’s why they appear to be looking at Neves, who is capable of playing anywhere in the middle of the park – as he’s shown throughout his time at Molineux.
A trident of Neves, then Fernandes and Pogba, looks exciting on paper. And with Solskjaer ready to make tactical tweaks, it could yet deliver on the pitch.
Just look at what it’s done for Manchester City.
With Fernandinho sitting deep over at the Etihad Stadium, it’s allowed creative players such as Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and David Silva (when he was there) to take matches by the scruff of the neck.
Now, United are looking to repeat that trick.
In Fernandes, they also have a player who would seamlessly help his compatriot adjust to life at Old Trafford.
And Neves certainly rates his compatriot highly, having talked up his talents in the past.
Soon, they could become team-mates. And, should that happen, Premier League title glory may just be achievable.