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Arsenal earmark Joao Neves as Martin Zubimendi alternative

Joao Neves benfica
According to Portuguese outlet Record, Arsenal have identified Benfica starlet Joao Neves as an alternative to long-term target Martin Zubimendi this summer.

The London giants have been long linked with a move for Zubimendi, but the Real Sociedad midfielder has been reluctant to consider a transfer away from the La Liga outfit. Record emphasise the same in today’s update and add that Neves has been earmarked as the alternative transfer target for Mikel Arteta’s side.

The same source mention that Arsenal are aware of the transfer stance of Benfica. Neves has a release clause of £102 million in his contract and it is claimed that the Portuguese giants will demand at least £85 million for the transfer of the wonderkid.

Huge talent

Neves has become one of the most sought-after young midfielders in the last 18 months. The 19-year-old has put in consistent performances from the no.6 role for Benfica and he could pursue a bigger challenge away from Lisbon this summer.

Arsenal have Zubimendi as their main transfer target, but the Spaniard has given no indication that he would like to leave Sociedad. In that case, the Gunners need to focus on alternatives and Neves would be a quality addition to the squad.

The teenager had a passing success rate of 90% last season with almost 60% of his duels won. He made close to 7 recoveries per league game alongside 2 successful tackles. Neves also impressed with his high pressing and positioning.

At the age of 19, he is already a quality defensive midfielder and could become world-class in the long run. Arsenal may need to be quick in their pursuit of the youngster with rivals Manchester City also keen on landing his signature.

The arrival of Neves at the Emirates Stadium could pave the way for the departure of Thomas Partey, who had another injury affected season. The Ghanaian did not get a regular run of starts in the league until the start of April.

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