8 Jun 2016

Liverpool MegaDeal? Klopp pushing to sign 'extraordinary' €40m midfield sensation who's 'like Busquets'

In October, The Independent claimed that Liverpool were in 'pole-position' to sign Porto captain Ruben Neves, and new reports this week suggest that Jurgen Klopp is still monitoring Neves, who recently become the youngest ever player to captain a team in the Champions League.

According to Portuguese newspaper Record:

"Ruben Neves continues to be on Jürgen Klopp's transfer list for Liverpool. Klopp is an admirer of Neves, who has a €40m release clause in his contract".

When asked recently about the possibility of Neves signing for Liverpool, Porto president Pinto da Costa told ESPN:

"I never want him to leave. Ruben has a contract until 2019, and we would like to keep him...so he can be Porto's greatest captain".

What type of player is Neves? Here are some descriptions of his style:

* Profile on UEFA.com: "Passing precision, vision and astute positioning. Great maturity. Defensive midfielder [but] shows no fear in getting forward, leading attacks and trying to score".

* Team-mate Cristian Tello's view: "Neves is fantastic with the ball, has great positioning on the field, and is aggressive, with a good job. He plays very much like Sergio Busquets".

* Porto B coach Luis Castro's assessment: "Neves has extraordinary mental talents. He's a player who sees the game with an extraordinary calmness and know what the game needs."

* Former Porto defensive midfielder Rodolfo Reis is also a fan: "He is achieving everything very quickly but with merit. The coach has helped a lot, relying on him in several positions, and he has responded."

The Neves hype is tempered somewhat by his failure to make it into Portugal's Euro 2016 squad, but that may ultimately work in Liverpool's favour, as it means his fee will not be grossly inflated by the extra exposure.

Porto have a history of selling youngsters for big bucks, so I doubt the club will be able to keep Neves in the long-term, but I don't see a compelling reason why he'd swap the Portuguese giants - who are in Europe next season - for Anfield.


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