Arsenal chief Edu ‘begins work’ on Ruben Neves transfer after Emiliano Buendia heartbreak

Transfer news: Who could be on the move this summer?

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Arsenal director Edu is taking steps to explore the possibility of bringing Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves to the Emirates Stadium ahead of next season, according to reports. The Gunners are expected to lead a summer of change over the next few months, with Mikel Arteta in desperate need of reinforcements to stand any chance of building on this season’s efforts.

The north London club slumped to an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League after a torrid campaign, missing out on European qualification for the first time in over 25 years.

Arteta’s side failed to sneak into next season’s Champions League by winning the Europa League after being dumped out at the penultimate hurdle by eventual champions Villarreal.

Arsenal were also denied the chance to defend last season’s FA Cup triumph after they were knocked out at the hands of Southampton, while their Carabao Cup exploits were halted by Manchester City at the quarter-final stage.

Despite the club’s lack of early signings, their summer transfer window appears to be in full swing with Edu and Arteta pushing hard to add new blood across the pitch.

The arrival of an attacking midfielder is believed to be an overwhelming priority for the Gunners, who were recently rebuffed in their efforts to land Norwich City talisman Emiliano Buendia.

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Aston Villa are reportedly poised to sign the 24-year-old after finalising terms at club level and thrashing out the formalities.

It seems as though Edu has moved on from the frustration of missing out on the Canaries man by turning his attention to Wolves maestro Neves.

The deep-lying midfield position looks to be another area in need of considerable investment, with the likes of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey failing to impress over the course of the campaign and Dani Ceballos returning to Real Madrid at the end of his season-long loan spell.

Arsenal have since ‘begun work’ on a deal to sign Neves, who has been made available for transfer as Wolves look to raise funds ahead of a summer rebuild, according to The Sunday Times.

The report claims that he could be sold for as little as £34m despite the west Midlands club turning down offers in the region of £70m for his services back in 2019.

Neves has just two years remaining on his current contract and is yet to formally discuss the possibility of extending his stay at Molineux, which suggests that a move to Arsenal could be very much within the realms of possibility ahead of the new campaign.

Manchester United and Liverpool have also been linked with the midfielder in recent months, but the Gunners appear to be leading the race for his signature at present.

Arteta has already suggested that he will be looking to engineer a large-scale overhaul in time for next season, admitting back in March that major surgery will be needed during the summer in order to aid his vision for the club.

“We don’t know yet because we have so many things to do,” Arteta told reporters when quizzed on his transfer plans.

“We have people on loan, people finishing contracts. There has been a lot going on in the last two transfer windows, the amount of things that had to be done was probably unprecedented and it will be again in the summer.

“We are trying to put a plan together to see the resources that we have, how much we want to improve, how we’re going to do it and at what cost. There are so many factors, it’s not just about one thing or an [financial] amount.

“It’s about the project and, timewise, how to build it is going to take some effort from everybody and we know that. The challenging moments that we are facing at the moment is making it even harder.”

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