Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has successfully swerved questions about potential interest from Liverpool by concentrating on his role for Portugal.
The 22-year-old has been linked with a move to the Champions League finalists after comments from Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders, who coached Neves in the Porto youth team.
Asked about the development of Neves, Lijnders told Portuguese newspaper O Jogo: “I know him very well, his ambition, his passion for the game, his professionalism.
“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.”
But Neves, on international duty for Portugal preparing for the Nations League finals and answering questions from Portuguese media, said: “It’s obvious it’s a pride to be able to take the name of Portugal further, for that is the goal. But it’s not the moment to think about the future, we have a competition to win. We are focused on the next game with Switzerland.
“As I said, it’s always great to be able to raise the name of the country abroad and value our football, but at the moment we are focused on the national team because we have a great competition and we want to give our best.”
Portugal play Switzerland a week today in the Nations League semi-finals for the right to meet either England or Holland, who meet on Thursday, June 6, in the final on Sunday, June 9 at Estádio do Dragão, Porto.
Neves has been a revelation for since signing for a Championship record £15.8m in 2017. He has played 82 games in all competitions, scoring 11 goals, and in 2017-18 was voted Wolves’ player of the year as well as winning goal of the season for his spectacular 35-yard strike against Derby.
This season he has formed a formidable partnership with Portuguese team-mate Joao Moutinho. He was also asked, in reference to being called a ‘Rolls Royce’ by Wolves fans, if he could bring the same quality to the national team.
“Here and at the club, all players try to do their best for the team,” he added. “It’s no different here. I try to give the best in each training (session) and in each game to help the Seleção. That’s my big goal.”