Huge update on Arsenal target Neto & more - O'Rourke Column

By Pete O'Rourke, Transfer Correspondent

5th Oct, 2023 | 6:29am

Pete O'Rourke column: Ten Hag sack news from Man United, 'huge' Arsenal update on Neto, Liverpool target Bowen set for bumper deal

Welcome to the latest edition of my biweekly column – bringing you exclusive transfer and contract news, as well as news from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and beyond.

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The Gunners are long-term admirers of Wolves star Pedro Neto and had interest in the summer window.

Neto has started the season in scintillating form after struggling in recent campaigns with injuries.

There is a possibility he could make the move in January, but a switch in the summer of 2024 is the more likely option – with more clubs set to join the race for his signature if his good form continues.

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Doing a deal in January will be hard with Wolves unwilling to let another top player leave, but I’m told the Midlands club are not completely out of the woods with regards to their Financial Fair Play issues.

Nevertheless, they will hold out for a huge fee for Neto – who looks to be their talisman this season, having already racked up one goal and four assists.

I’m told the Portugal international would be interested in joining a club challenging for honours.

Meanwhile, Emile Smith Rowe is weighing up his options at Arsenal.

He is happy at the club, but I’m told he will have to re-assess if his lack of football under Arteta continues.

Smith Rowe is still not playing regularly despite a number of key injuries at Arsenal in recent weeks – and potential January signings, including Neto, could push him further down the pecking order.

If further players come in, I’m told the club and player could agree that the time is right for him to move on.

Sources say there will be Premier League interest in the England international.



The Magpies are the latest side to be linked with Brentford striker Ivan Toney.

Toney feels the time is right for him to move on from the Bees to a bigger club in January when he is able to play again after a lengthy ban.

However, my understanding is that Newcastle are looking at a younger striker signing who can learn under Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson.

There will, nevertheless, be a number of clubs interested in Toney – but he doesn’t fit the profile of signing the Magpies are targeting in January.

The England international’s lack of football could put some clubs off in the mid-season window, while Brentford are desperate to keep him amid some fears of a potential relegation battle this season.

I’m told the summer window in 2024 is a much more likely opportunity to land the prolific forward in a big-money deal.



Pressure is ramping up on Erik ten Hag following four defeats from the opening seven Premier League games of the season.

However, I’m told he has plenty of credit in the bank after the exploits of last season.

There is no panic within club officials just yet, but the board are looking for and improvement and results will have to pick up.

Sources say there is no panic just yet, and the club remain fully behind Ten Hag – and see him as the man to turn things around.

Meanwhile, the Dutchman is keen to add more signings in the January window, and work is under way on those.

The situation with Jadon Sancho has sprung yet another challenge for Man United – and they will be in the market for another winger if he is not reintegrated.

A central midfielder will also be on the agenda for United, I’m told.

However, players will have to leave to make January signings possible – and Scott McTominay and Harry Maguire will once again be prime candidates to move on to raise the necessary funds.



The Irons are desperate to sort out the future of new talisman Jarrod Bowen.

His contract is currently up in June 2025, and David Moyes is desperate to keep him at the club after losing Declan Rice in the summer window.

Bowen has been the subject of long-term interest from Liverpool, but the Reds are yet to firm anything up in recent transfer windows.

West Ham are working hard, with talks underway, to make Bowen one of the highest earners at the London Stadium with Moyes determined to tie him down to a longer-term deal with what will be a “huge” contract offer.