Bruno Lage says he can keep hold of star turn Ruben Neves – as long as Wolves are able to “create a big team”.
The 24-year-old midfielder’s future comes under the spotlight at the opening of each transfer window. This one is no different.
The former Porto ace is one of the undoubted stars at the Black Country club and remains on the wish-list of many Champions League outfits.
In an interview in his native Portugal this week, Neves admitted how much he missed playing in the competition, although he also said he had grown to love Wolverhampton.
And his manager believes that, if the club can continue to challenge for the upper reaches of the Premier League, the midfielder WILL stay put.
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Lage said: “Ruben feels this is his second home – and happiness comes with that.
“That’s good, but it’s another thing to convince him to stay. It’s not about a contract or money. It’s about creating a big team that fights for different things.
“Ruben is in that place where he needs a different challenge. And we also want a different challenge for the club.”
Lage says that Neves can improve by studying others, such as compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, who he will face at Old Trafford on Monday.
The Wolves boss added: “We want to push younger guys, like Ruben, to the next level.
“He plays alongside Joao Moutinho every day. It’s the little details that count. But players such as Ronaldo also have big experience. And when you play with these guys, you learn.
“When you are criticised, you need to focus in training.
“Guys like Cristiano and Joao, now in their 30s, have enjoyed the careers they have because they possess big mentalities.”