Wolves can’t retain Neves if clubs will pay 100 million pounds to sign him – Lage

Wolverhampton Wanderers will do everything to retain midfielder Ruben Neves but will not be able to stand in the way of clubs willing to pay over 100 million pounds ($131 million) for him, manager Bruno Lage said on Thursday.

Neves, who was instrumental in Wolves’ promotion to the top flight and been their midfield lynchpin for five years, has been linked with a move to Manchester United by British media.

The 25-year-old Portugal international has over two years left to run on his Wolves contract, and would command a high price tag in the transfer market.

“I don’t know if it’s United or other teams, what I know is we have a special player here with us. What he’s doing this season is very good,” Lage told reporters ahead of Friday’s league trip to Newcastle United.

“I think also the way we play, he can show a better Ruben. The way he plays puts our team on a different level. When you have that player, the best thing to do is improve his salary and years of contract.

“But who knows, when you have a top player like him in that specific position, that can defend and attack, is a top professional and a great man, big teams are there with 100 million pounds to buy these kinds of players.”

Lage explained how he felt helpless during his time at Benfica when Atletico Madrid bought forward Joao Felix for more than 120 million euros ($131 million) in 2019.

“It depends on the strategy of Wolves also, that’s why it was so hard to find players in the last two transfer windows,” Lage added.

“We want to find the best players at the right price and the right age to help us, then after two or three years they can give us economical profit.

“It’s not just about Wolves. In these days which club can refuse a proposal of 80, 90 or 100 million pounds? Five or six.”

($1 = 0.9167 euros)

($1 = 0.7648 pounds)

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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