Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is unlikely to stay at the club this summer after the Midlands outfit failed to qualify for Europe, according to TalkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.
Bruno Lage’s side have threatened a top-seven finish for the majority of this season, but they are now set to end the campaign outside the European places
When Wolves beat Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park on March 13, it seemed that they had a good chance of securing a European spot.
However, their results have quickly gone downhill since then as they have picked up just one win from their last eight fixtures.
Five points from a possible 24 is a bitterly disappointing return, and they were held to a 1-1 draw by already-relegated Norwich on Sunday.
This has left them five points behind West Ham, who currently occupy the final European place, with just one game to go, meaning that Wolves cannot overhaul the Irons heading into the last weekend of the season
Neves has remained loyal to Wolves over the past five years, and has made 211 appearances during this time.
Crook expects him to move on this summer, though, especially after the Premier League club missed out on Europe.
When asked about the chances of Neves remaining at Wolves beyond this summer, Crook told GIVEMESPORT: “I think slim. I think he had big clubs chasing him in January, Barcelona and Manchester United. He stayed loyal. Obviously, they’ve ended up missing out on Europe, which is a blow for him, and they need a rebuild.”
Is missing out on Europe the final nail in the coffin of Wolves’ hopes of keeping Neves?
It seems that way.
Even if Wolves had qualified for the Europa League or Europa Conference League, they may have struggled to retain Neves’s services, particularly with Barcelona interested. The Catalan giants will be able to offer him Champions League football next term.
It has appeared for a while that Neves is destined to play in Europe’s elite club competition sooner rather than later, and Wolves do not look likely to break into the top four any time soon.
Therefore, with the £36m-rated midfielder having two years left on his contract at Molineux, now could be a good time for the club to cash in on Neves so that they can reinvest in the rest of their squad, rather than trying to convince him to stay when he seems to be ready for a fresh challenge.