Manchester United and Arsenal target further away due to agent priorities

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The degree to which agents intervene in footballing decisions is a hot topic within football. As much as with players, managers or owners, securing the signature of your top target depends on a good relationship with an agent.

It appears that could be the case with Ruben Neves. The Wolves midfielder has been linked with a move away from the club since the early days of his Wolves career and Barcelona have been part of those links for some time too. His agent, Jorge Mendes, has a good relationship with the hierarchy at Barcelona and managed to thrash out deals for Francisco Trincao and Adama Traore in the last two transfer windows.

According to Spanish newspaper Sport, Mendes now wants to do a deal for Neves. The Portuguese midfielder has the approval of the football heads at Barcelona and there are two main impediments to the deal: the cost and the fact Barcelona’s priorities lie elsewhere.

Ruben Neves in action for Wolves

Although the club would like a long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets, it’s unlikely that they will make a major investment in their midfield this summer. That being said, Mendes is a canny operator capable of finding way where he puts his will.

All of this is disappointing news for Arsenal and Manchester United, who reportedly wanted to sign Neves, according to Sky Sports. Without the approval of Mendes however, the deal would be as good as dead.

Neves could have been a fine signing for the Gunners to give them more creativity and quality on the ball in midfield, while Man Utd would also surely benefit from a player of this calibre as an upgrade on under-performing duo Fred and Scott McTominay.

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