Joan Laporta hints at strong Barcelona interest in Premier League midfielder

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has hinted at major interest in Wolves midfielders Ruben Neves, appearing to suggest the club will dip into the transfer market depending on what happens with captain Sergio Busquets at the end of the season.

Busquets is out of contract in the summer a couple of weeks before he turns 35 and has been heavily linked with a switch to Inter Miami. He has previously set a February deadline for deciding whether he will be staying at Camp Nou or moving on.

If Busquets does leave, Barça will need to replace a player who has anchored their midfield since 2009 – Franck Kessie is tipped to depart and the squad’s other midfielder play different roles.

Neves has spent nearly five years with Wolves since making a surprise switch from Porto in 2017, but is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

“Ruben Neves is a top player but it’s part of private conversations. Busquets has to decide his future, he has proposals from MLS and so we’re exploring options for the future,” Laporta told Cadena SER.

“Xavi will decide who’s the right player for us.”

The interest seems like it would be reciprocated by Neves.

“If you ask in general, all players want to play for Barca!” he told Canal 11 in October. “It’s one of the best clubs in the world. It’s a privilege for me to be linked to this team.”

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth in the latest episode of Talking Transfers. This week they discuss Man Utd’s interest in Mohammed Kudus, Enzo Fernandez and Chelsea, Jude Bellingham’s decision and Mykhaylo Mudryk’s preferred move. Available on all audio platforms.

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Having previously been Porto captain at a young age, Neves has been ready to leave Wolves for some time in a bid to explore a new challenge and play at a higher level.

90min reported in April of last season that, in addition to Barcelona, there was interest in Neves from Arsenal, Tottenham, Atletico Madrid and Manchester United, although the latter went on to sign Christian Eriksen and Casemiro during the summer.