Ruben Neves has revealed that he wants to stay at Wolverhampton Wanderers following their promotion to the Premier League, despite speculation linking him with a move away this summer.
The Portugal international has been one of the most impressive players in the Championship this season, as Nuno Espírito Santo's side became the first team to confirm their promotion the Premier League last week.
The 21-year-old surprised many when he made a £16 million move from Porto to the Championship club last summer and there have been rumours that he may look to move onto a bigger club after his excellent displays in 2017-18.
However, Neves has now moved to assure Wolves fans that he remains committed to the cause.
"Honestly, I love to play here. I love the boys and I love the fans. I am really happy here," Neves said at the EFL Awards, where he made the team of the season. "I have it all to stay, but in football we never know. Yes, I would like to stay.
"Of course, it is my first season in the Premier League. It is the place that Wolves deserve. The fans deserve it as well. So I am happy here, like I said before. If it is possible, I would like to stay here to have my first year in the Premier League.
"We go in the same path [in the Premier League], we work hard in the way that we play.
"Now it is a little bit early to talk about targets. Like I said before, we want to be champions and we will focus on that now. We are really happy because we achieved our goal a little bit early. Now we have another goal, we want to be champions and we have three games to go. We have to go back to working hard to get this goal.
"Of course, I think all the players enjoyed this moment. That’s what we wanted from the beginning of the season. Now we can enjoy it because we are in the Premier League and that’s the most important thing. It is really good for me. When I came here, I came to improve myself and help the club.
"Fortunately, I have improved myself this year in a really good league so I am happy to be here. I love the club and I love the fans. I am happy to be here and fortunately, we are in the Premier League and that’s the most important thing."
Neves has made 39 appearances already for Wolves this season and scored six times, with his displays proving pivotal to their hopes of promotion.
And he is hoping that Portugal manager Fernando Santos notices his good form with the World Cup looming; indeed, he has revealed how the Portuguese Football Federation have even subscribed to Wolves TV to watch him play.
"Yes, of course. All players are thinking about that but honestly, I am focused on here and now," Neves added. "After, if I have to go to the World Cup then I will be happy with that. They have Wolves TV to see some of my games, sometimes they see it on Sky Sports so, yes, they see my games.
"Honestly no [I haven't spoken to Santos], they sent me a message to congratulate me for the promotion but nothing more. Not the manager, but the director of the Portugal FA."
Wolves have come in for criticism from rival clubs who feel that the club's relationship with super agent Jorge Mendes has given them a competitive advantage, with the likes of Neves, Diogo Jota, Ivan Cavaleiro and Helder Costa coming into the club from his agency.
The club, headed by the Chinese company Fosun International, believe they comply with all the EFL and FA's rules and sporting director Kevin Thelwell has denied that Mendes is to thank for the club's promotion to the Premier League.
"Jorge is an agent just like any other," Thelwell said at the EFL Awards. "We’ve taken some of Jorge’s clients but also taken clients from other agents. My perspective on it is we haven’t broken any of the rules, we are very clear on that and the EFL suggest we are very clear on that and Jorge is an agent that has helped us to improve the squad, just like some other agencies have.
"All I can say is that we were very clear on what the plan would look like in that second year. In the first year our recruitment didn’t go so well and there was not so many people talking about us then. In the second year we managed to pull it all together.
"We took some risks, Ruben Neves would have been offered to a number of people - not just Wolverhampton Wanderers, as would have some of the other players. You can’t take away from the players like John Ruddy, on a free from Norwich and Ryan Bennett, on a free.
"I think from our perspective we are not keen to put a ceiling on it really [the club's ambitions], it’s almost dare to dream stuff. It sounds a little bit ridiculous when you look at the recent history where Wolves have been. But, why not is the answer from my perspective. They [Fosun] are Uber ambitious, and they have been Uber supportive.
"With the squad we’ve got, the age of the players, the coach we’ve got, sky’s the limit really. Who knows [where we can finish next season]? It’s such an unforgivable league. We are just enjoying the moment, for sure. We are starting to plan in earnest, and hopefully we will get a head start on other clubs."
Wolves have six players in on loan including Jota from Atletico Madrid and Thelwell added that his side will make decisions on making those moves permanent in the next week or so.
"They’ve all done very well for us, but there’s no hard and fast decisions made for us just yet in terms of what we are going to do with those guys," he added.
"We are going to let the moment sink in and get to the end of the season. We will then sit down and have a strategy meeting and see what we are going to do next with them."