David Adán


The Wolves midfielder is shaping up  as a potential Busquets replacement


Sergio Busquets’ Barcelona future is up in the air. For months, the word has been that the anchorman’s next step is a move to MLS, in the US.

Now, though, there’s a chance he’ll stay on at the Camp Nou. Nevertheless, Barça are combing the market for fresh blood in what is a key position.

Barça chief Joan Laporta has no doubts about who he wants to sign: Rúben Neves. The 5ft 11in midfielder, 25, is powerful and versatile.

According to Transfermarkt, Neves is worth €40m. He’ll only have a year left on his contract this summer, so Barça ought to be able to get a good price.

He plays for Premier League side Wolves. He’s made 233 appearances for the club, scoring 28 goals and supplying 12 assists. Good stats.

Neves is also a Portugal international, with a total of 37 caps. For his age, he’s very experienced. He’s played in the Champions League, at World Cups…

While Laporta’s keen on Neves, Barça head coach Xavi likes Real Sociedad’s Martín Zubimendi. He’s 23, is 5ft 11in tall, and certainly plays the Barça way.

Per Transfermarkt, he’s worth €40m. He’s under contract until 2027, which is a major issue. La Real won’t sell for less than his €60m buy-out clause.

Laporta and Xavi appear to be at odds over who Barça should bring in. On top of that, the Catalans aren’t exactly rolling in transfer funds right now.

According to AI firm Olocip, Neves would perform better at Barça than 97% of the anchormen in its database. Zubimendi, meanwhile, would beat 87% of the competition.

There’s a way to go until the summer yet, but Barcelona know it’s very important to sign a young defensive midfielder that they can count on.