Chelsea, Liverpool interested in Porto youngster Ruben Neves?

Porto's midfielder Ruben Neves controls the ball during the Portuguese league football match FC Porto vs Maritimo at the Dragao Stadium in Porto on August 15, 2014
© Getty Images
Porto ace Ruben Neves, one of the most highly-rated midfielders in European football, is reportedly a New Year target for Premier League rivals Chelsea and Liverpool.

Premier League rivals Chelsea and Liverpool are reportedly locked in a battle to sign young midfielder Ruben Neves from Porto when the transfer window reopens in January.

Contact with the 19-year-old's agent Jorge Mendes is said to have been made by both clubs, who are aware of the £36m release clause inserted into his contract.

Neves claimed last year that he could potentially end his career at Porto, having established himself in the first-team ranks at the Estadio do Dragao and been rewarded for his form with two senior Portugal caps.

According to Italian publication Calciomercato, Juventus have shown an interest in the Dragons' academy ace but face competition from Liverpool and Chelsea, with the latter thought to be particularly desperate to bring a new deep-lying midfielder to the club.

Neves, also tipped with a move to Arsenal last year, has made four appearances for Porto in the Primeira Liga this term.

Porto's midfielder Ruben Neves controls the ball during the Portuguese league football match FC Porto vs Maritimo at the Dragao Stadium in Porto on August 15, 2014
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1Chelsea25193352183460
2Manchester CityMan City25164551292252
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs25148346182850
4Arsenal25155554282650
5Liverpool25147454302449
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd25139338211748
7Everton25118640271341
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2510783431337
9Stoke CityStoke258893036-632
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2595113443-932
11Southampton2586112831-330
12Burnley2593132736-930
13Watford2586112942-1330
14Bournemouth2575133549-1426
15Swansea CitySwansea2573153154-2324
16Middlesbrough25410111927-822
17Leicester CityLeicester2556142443-1921
18Hull City2555152249-2720
19Crystal Palace2554163246-1419
20Sunderland2554162446-2219