Liverpool-linked midfielder Ruben Neves is “99 per cent” likely to stay at Wolves beyond the end of the transfer window, according to head coach Bruno Lage.
Neves, who has emerged as a key figure since arriving at Wolves in 2017, had reportedly been targeted by the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United earlier in the transfer window after entering the final two years of his contract.
More recently, Liverpool have been touted as suitors for the Portugal international after Jurgen Klopp acknowledged the Reds may have to recruit a midfielder to ease their injury crisis.
Neves assumed the captain’s armband at Wolves after Conor Coady was loaned to Everton, and scored a stunning long-range goal in their 1-1 draw with Newcastle United on Sunday.
The 25-year-old has scored 19 non-penalty goals for Wolves in all competitions, 16 of which have come from outside the penalty area. Since joining the Molineux club, he has scored four times as many goals from outside the box than any of his team-mates.
With Neves performing well despite Wolves’ failure to win any of their first four Premier League games of the season, Lage is confident of retaining his services.
“Ruben is playing very well, that’s why he was so important last season,” Lage said. “He’s started in a good moment. He has been amazing since the first day here. Now it’s time to continue to work.
16 – Excluding penalties, 84% of Rúben Neves’ goals for Wolves in all competitions have come from outside the box (16/19), including eight of 11 in the Premier League (73%). Marksman. pic.twitter.com/b3HbmBQ5tT
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 28, 2022
“I am 99 per cent he will stay with us for one more year. I can say 100, but you never know with the market.
“He is happy here, he is our captain and I am sure that he will be here to play for us. You can see that he is focused on his team and his game.”
Although Neves looks set to stay at Molineux, defender Willy Boly could depart after failing to turn up for the Newcastle fixture despite being named in the matchday squad.
Boly has been linked with big-spending Premier League new boys Nottingham Forest, and Lage accused him of trying to “force something” after seeing his side pegged back late on in Sunday’s draw.