Porto want to keep Ruben Neves

F.C. Porto president Pinto da Costa hopes highly-rated midfielder Ruben Neves will follow in the foot steps of former Portugal international defender Joao Pinto and spend his entire career at the Estadio do Dragao.

Earlier this week, Neves, 18, became the youngest ever player to captain a UEFA Champions League side, as Porto defeated Maccabi Tel-Aviv to move one step closer to qualification for the knockout stages.

Since then, Neves, having been likened to Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets, has been increasingly linked with several top European clubs, including the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool.

“I hope that he stays for many years at FC Porto,” da Costa said. “Ruben has a contract until 2019 and not until 2017, as I have sometimes seen written, and we would like to keep him at the club, as a kind of Joao Pinto — he was a symbol of the club’s progress for generations.

“I never want him to leave FC Porto.”

The man that would be tasked with negotiating any deal for Neves is Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes, whose impressive client list includes Angel di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria, David De Gea and Jose Mourinho.

Rudi Garcia: Roma not Serie A favourites 

A.S. Roma boss Rudi Garcia was delighted with his side’s performance at ACF Fiorentina, but insists the Giallorossi are not title-favourites.

Nevertheless, the bookmakers are backing Roma at 15/8–while four-time reigning champions Juventus priced at 3/1–to win the Scudetto this season.

Goals from Mohamed Salah and Gervinho helped the  Giallorossi earn a 2-1 win over Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday. The victory propelled Roma to the top of the Serie A table.

And while many pundits believe Rudi Garcia’s side can contend for the league title this season, the manager has moved to play down such lofty expectations.

“Roma are definitely not favourites [for the Scudetto],” Garcia told Sky Sport Italia.

“Until recently, we have been very poor. Now people say we are favourites because we sit first.

“We need our fans at the Stadio Olimpico as we cannot do this without them.”

Garcia added: “We came here [to the Stadio Artemio Franchi] to take the first place, and we displayed the right attitude.

“I saw the two sides of Roma, the one that presses to score goals and the other side that drops in intensity when we want to defend.

“We did well defensively, giving them no space, and [Wojciech] Szczesny made the saves he had to.

“Tactically and mentally the guys were great and we never really struggled today.”

Roma will host Udinese at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday evening.

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