Wolves midfield star Ruben Neves is being eyed by Liverpool over a potential move to Anfield.
Reds assistant manager Pep Lijnders has revealed the 22-year-old is on the radar of manager Jurgen Klopp ahead of this summer’s transfer window.
Lijnders helped Neves to blossom when the 36-year-old was coach at Porto’s academy from 2006-14, and he is said to have been consistently impressed by the Portugal international since.
Neves has become a huge fans’ favourite at Molineux since signing from Porto for £15.8m in July 2017.
“I know him very well, his ambition, his passion for the game, his professionalism,” Lijnders told Portuguese newspaper O Jogo.
“I know what he gives to the team and this type of player always interests us.
“I recognised him when I saw him at Wolves. I saw technique, professionalism; I saw the 2013-14 player I knew.”
Liverpool signed two midfielders last summer in Naby Keita and Fabinho, but there could be a possible opening with rumours that Klopp might be looking to replace Jordan Henderson.
Neves signed a five-year contract to stay at Wolves last summer, a deal which is set to keep him at Molineux until 2023. And with huge ambition to reach the Champions League themselves, Neves is seen as key to achieving Wolves’ aims to qualify for Europe.
The former Porto midfielder has been linked with a move to Liverpool several times before, as well as both Manchester clubs.
His performances haven’t caught the eye this season as much as last term, which is understandable as he has stepped up from the Championship to the Premier League.
A dip in form saw Neves dropped by head coach Nuno Espirito Santo for the games against Fulham and Crystal Palace over the festive period, coming off the bench in the latter. But the rest seemed to do him good and he responded with a string of impressive displays on his return to the team.
Neves didn’t have his best game at Wembley on Sunday in the FA Cup semi-final defeat in extra-time to Watford and was taken off with four minutes left, when Wolves were still leading 2-1.
But he is seen as hugely important to the club’s future and his signing was a massive statement of intent from Wolves, encouraging others to join.