Liverpool report: Midfielder snubbed Reds approach to hold out for Barcelona switch

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
(Image credit: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Wolves (opens in new tab) captain Ruben Neves reportedly rejected the possibility of joining Liverpool (opens in new tab) from this summer, instead preferring to wait for a move to Barcelona (opens in new tab).

The Reds ultimately signed Arthur on loan from Juventus (opens in new tab) as midfield cover, but it seems that they were keen to bring Neves, 25, to Anfield.

According to Spanish newspaper Sport (via the Liverpool Echo) (opens in new tab), Liverpool made contact with the Portugal international's camp to discuss a deal – as did their arch-rivals Manchester United (opens in new tab).

Wolves midfielder and captain Ruben Neves

Neves was named Wolves captain this summer after Conor Coady left for Everton on loan (Image credit: Jack Thomas – Wolves via Getty Images)

But, the report adds, Neves had little desire to talk to either club as he already has his sights set on signing for Barcelona.

It seems that the Catalan giants' well-documented financial difficulties ruled out any deal this summer – but, in a separate report, Sport (opens in new tab) claim that Barca are considering Neves as a successor to veteran midfield lynchpin Sergio Busquets.

Neves has also been linked with Arsenal (opens in new tab) – and his apparent price tag would have required the Gunners, Liverpool and Manchester United to break their transfer record.

Speaking back in April, Wolves boss Bruno Lage said (opens in new tab): "These top players like Ruben Neves have a value of £100m."

Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves

After missing the cut in 2018, Neves will be hoping to go to his first World Cup with Portugal this winter (Image credit: Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Neves joined Wolves from Porto (opens in new tab) in July 2017 for a then club-record fee (opens in new tab) and helped them to promotion from the Championship as league winners in his first season at Molineux.

He's closing in on 200 Premier League appearances – a milestone which, assuming he features in every game between now and then, he'll reach on Boxing Day.

More Liverpool stories

Liverpool have been linked with Borussia Dortmund and England sensation Jude Bellingham (opens in new tab), and are reportedly open to offloading Naby Keita in a player-plus-cash deal (opens in new tab).

There has also been talk of the Reds making a move for highly-rated Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomes (opens in new tab), as well as signing Memphis Depay from Barcelona in exchange for Roberto Firmino (opens in new tab).

Elsewhere, one former Liverpool player has blamed Jurgen Klopp for Sadio Mane's decision to leave the club this summer (opens in new tab).

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