Chelsea and Liverpool will go head-to-head in the battle to land highly-rated Porto star Ruben Neves this summer, according to A Bola.
The Portuguese newspaper has reported that the Premier League champions will fight it out with the Reds to lure the much coveted defensive midfielder to England if Porto are willing to sell at the right price.
With Juventus also keeping an eye on proceedings, however, the duo will have to stump up a hefty fee to prise Neves away from the Estadio do Dragao to strengthen their midfield options.
Neves featured in all three group games for Portugal during their European Under-21 Championships appearance in June, and despite their exit the 20-year-old’s performances apparently did not go unnoticed.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is believed to be an admirer of the midfield enforcer and would be able to mould him in his own image if the Italian convinced him that a switch to Stamford Bridge was the right place to be.
With the likes of N’Golo Kante and Cesc Fabregas at the club, however, and the possible arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Neves may find it a struggle to break into the Blues’ regular starting lineup.
He could have more luck at Anfield with Liverpool, especially given that Lucas Leiva’s and Emre Can’s futures have been cast into doubt, and working in tandem with Jordan Henderson in midfield under Jurgen Klopp’s tutelage could be the best bet for Neves in plying his trade in the UK.
Porto would reportedly expect to scoop a fee in the region of £33m for Neves – the same amount of cash that saw striker Andre Silva depart for AC Milan – and would be confident of either English side or I Bianconeri of paying that going rate.
Neves has made 93 appearances in all competitions for Porto since he made his senior bow, but the young midfielder struggled to retain a regular place in the starting lineup last term as he featured on just 18 occasions.