Arsenal are reportedly lining up a January bid in the region of £22million for Porto teenager, Ruben Neves.
The 18-year-old is being prepared as a serious candidate to fill the gap left by Francis Coquelin, who will now sustain over three months on the sidelines following knee ligament injury.
Arsene Wenger see’s that as a massive blow for the clubs Premier League title chances, and is believed to be on the hunt for an immediate replacement.
According to The Sun, scouts have already been sent to Portugal to assess the youngster, who was recently been promoted as captain of the Primeira Liga outfit at the age of just eighteen.
That’s even more impressive when you consider he’s only made 30 appearances for the club since his move back in 2014, so he must have a huge presence in the dressing room.
It’s clear that Neves has been a standout figure in all domestic competitions for Porto, and for that reason he won’t be an easy name to capture when the transfer window opens on January 1st.
However, at a rumoured price of £12m up front and then a further £10m in add-ons, he is no longer a player outside of Wenger’s realistic estimations.
Now some may say that’s a ridiculous option when we have Coquelin returning in late February, but the Gunners need to think about their long-term plan.
Supporters were crying out for another defensive midfielder back in the summer but Wenger failed to listen to them, and instead stuck with crocked Mikel Arteta and veteran midfielder, Mathieu Flamini.
Reports have already showered us with suggestions the duo will on their way out of the Emirates Stadium towards the end of this season, and now Wenger needs to act.
If a player like Neves is to come in during January, he has a very good amount of time to prepare for taking on Coquelin next season.
A move to the North London club could attract him as well, acting as a hero to come in and save Arsenal’s season, just like the Frenchman did in his standout year after returning from Charlton.
For now though, it seems the boss will experiment with Callum Chambers in the defensive midfield role, after the Englishman played a full 90 minutes for the Under-21’s last night.