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Opinion: Arsenal's potential Ruben Neves deal could set Liverpool budget

Ruben Neves could be on the move this summer and his transfer could set the transfer budget at Liverpool. The Reds will surely want a midfielder in the window.

Liverpool don’t appear to want Ruben Neves this summer but his transfer could impact them. And that transfer may happen soon.

The Telegraph claims Arsenal will make an offer to Wolves for Neves before long. There’s no word to what that opening offer will be, just that the eventual price could be close to £40m.

Wolves apparently want a fee similar to that which took Diogo Jota to Liverpool. Arsenal will want to talk them down from that, of course.

The Reds may also want a midfielder this summer. It’d be strange if they weren’t looking, at least, given Gini Wijnaldum will leave for nothing next month.

And while Neves may not be an ideal option, his transfer may well set the budget.

Liverpool to watch Ruben Neves deal

Liverpool almost certainly don’t want a holding midfield player to replace Wijnaldum. That’s Fabinho’s role, with Jordan Henderson also more than capable there.

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In fact, Henderson will surely play there more often as his career start to wind down. He won’t have box-to-box energy forever.

But while Neves isn’t the ideal player, his standing is about right. Liverpool will want a player like him – capable of playing a good role right now but with room to grow.

Someone they can sign and get a full five-year contract out of, much as they did Wijnaldum. Such a player doesn’t need to be a sure-fire starter, either.

Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago will almost certainly hold down the first-XI midfield spots. Anyone who arrives will be just behind them, battling with Curtis Jones et al for games.

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A player from a lower Premier League side makes sense, then, and in that 22-25 age bracket. Neves would be perfect – if he played the right role.

But if a player of his ilk is moving for £40m, that’s the price Liverpool can expect to pay for their eventual signing.

One player we’d like to see – and who fits a similar standing – is Yves Bissouma. The Athletic say Liverpool like him and that Brighton want around £40m.

He fits the Neves mould – Premier League established, 24 years old, and ready to kick on a level with the right club. Now Liverpool just need the Portuguese midfielder to move for under £40m.

Because when he does move, he’ll become the player they point to when deciding on and negotiating fees this summer.

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