Barcelona is looking for a long-term successor for veteran midfielder Sergio Busquets and according to recent reports, have identified Wolves midfielder, Ruben Neves, as the Spaniard’s ideal replacement.
Busquets is 33-years-old and is naturally beginning to decline.
Clearly, a long way off the commanding defensive midfielder that once acted as the glue in Barcelona’s incredible squad which lifted three Champions League trophies and countless La Liga titles, Busquets’ time at the top is slowly but surely coming to an end.
In an effort to plan for the future, Xavi is understood to have earmarked Neves, 25, who will be out of contract at Molineux in 2024, as Busquets’ perfect replacement.
Although Wolves are said to be prepared to welcome bids starting at £42m (€50m) for Neves, manager Bruno Lage recently heaped the praise on the Portugal international.
Following his wonder strike against Watford earlier this month, Lage, as quoted by Birmingham Mail, said: “What’s so important is Ruben knows what I want for him and what I wish for his career. Ruben should be the top of the top. The pressure for him is to come again on Sunday and make another performance. That’s the way he should be every time. That way he can put our team on a different level.
“To be on top and to be the top of the top, and I think Ruben can do that, not scoring goals like this every week, but the way he linked the game with the defenders, the way he found players between lines, that’s the Ruben I want every day.”
What the future holds for the 25-year-old is unknown, but one thing is clear, failure to extend his deal will see his value decrease the closer we get to 2024 and that may force Wolves into offloading sooner rather than later.