The transfer which edges Wolves midfielder Neves closer to Barcelona
Wolves have signed a Brazilian midfielder as they plan for Neves' exit
Rúben Neves has taken another step in the direction of Barcelona, where he could end up this summer. Aware that his departure in will be a reality at the end of the season, Wolverhampton Wanderers have decided to plan ahead with the signing of a player who will take the place of the Portuguese midfielder.
That is the Brazilian midfielder, Joao Gomes, who will turn 22 in February and who has just won the Copa Libertadores and the Copa do Brasil with Flamengo.
In an operation in which agent Jorge Mendes has actively participated, Wolves have ended up paying €18.7 million for Gomes, beating Olympique Lyon who entered with great force last week.
Now coach Julen Lopetegui will have six months to being through a very interesting midfielder, who also aroused the interest of some of Europe's biggest clubs, including Real Madrid, who saw him as having the potential to become the new Casemiro.
Barcelona also had him on their shortlist of young Brazilian pivots alongside former Vasco da Gama player Andrey Santos (who ended up going to Chelsea) and Danilo (who joined Nottingham Forest from Palmeiras).
There were other suitors, such as Jorge Sampaoli's Sevilla who also negotiated a deal, but Monchi could not bring the Argentine coach the Rio de Janeiro player due to the pressure exerted by the Premier clubs with much greater financial muscle.
The pieces are beginning to fall into place. Barça have known the purchase price for Rúben Neves since last summer. The signing is much more feasible than that of Martin Zubimendi, since Real Sociedad do not plan to lower a single euro of the €60m release clause and a Premier League move looks likely.