Arsenal set to bid for £40million-rated Wolves star Ruben Neves as Granit Xhaka replacement, and transfer links ‘do not surprise’ Portugal teammate Jose Fonte

Jose Fonte is ‘not surprised’ to see Ruben Neves linked with a big-money move to Arsenal.

The Gunners have identified the Wolves midfielder as a replacement for Granit Xhaka, who is set to join Roma for £20million.

Neves is valued at around £40million by Wolves

The Telegraph claim Arsenal are preparing to bid for Neves with Wolves demanding a minimum fee of £40m for the 24-year-old.

Neves will play alongside Fonte at Euro 2020, and the Portugal and Lille defender was full of praise for his teammate.

Fonte, a newly crowned Ligue 1 winner and a defending Euros champion told White and Jordan on talkSPORT: “Ruben is a great, young player. We cannot forget he is still a young player.

“He’s done very well since he came to England. I can’t say I’m surprised [about the links to Arsenal] because of the quality he has and his passing range is second to none.

But Ruben Neves issued an instant response
Getty Images
Xhaka is set to leave Arsenal after five years at the Emirates to join Jose Mourinho at Roma
Getty Images – Getty

“He can score goals from outside the box. He’s very clever. I’m not surprised there is interest in him.”

Neves has made 176 appearances since joining Wolves for £15.8million from Porto.

During that time, the 24-year-old has won promotion to the Premier League and helped his side achieve two seventh-placed top-flight finishes.

Fonte knows Neves well from their time together with Portugal

Wolves also look set to appoint Portuguese coach Bruno Lage as their new manager following the departure of Nuno Espirito Santo.

Lage last managed Benfica and lifted the Primeira Liga title in 2018/19.

And Fonte insists the incoming boss will be able to deal with the pressure and demands of the Premier League.

The Lille defender said: “He’s done a good job at Benfica with the youngsters.

Lage won the Portuguese top-flight title with Benfica in the 2018/19 season

“He’s a quality manager. He won the title at Benfica, he has a good philosophy and some good ideas.

“He likes to play football. He’s not scared to give opportunities to the young boys.

“It’s going to be interesting to see if he can succeed, but he’s already showed he can deal with the pressure because in Portugal if you manage Benfica, you’re going to have pressure and you’re going to have to deal with it.

“He’s done that very well. It’s a great challenge for him.”

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