Wolves are reportedly in ‘pole position’ to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Palhinha.
The West Midlands club need to make summer signings to improve on their 13th-placed finish in 2020/21.
Despite being without a manager following the departure of Nuno Espirito Santo, club chiefs are already looking at squad reinforcements.
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According to Portuguese outlet Correio da Manha (via ESPN), Wolves are leading the race for Palhinha’s signature.
They’ve sounded out the 25-year-old’s availability and have been given a €30million valuation by Sporting.
Given Wolves’ spending power, they are expected to match this asking price in the near future.
They are also confident about the deal going through as Palhinha is believed to be excited by the prospect of playing in England.
Rivals Everton and Leicester have also contacted Sporting, but given Wolves’ strong Portuguese ties, Molineux remains the most likely destination for the defensive midfielder.
Palhinha was an integral player this term as Sporting were crowned Primeira Liga champions for the first time in 19 years.
He featured 32 times in the league and helped the side to keep an impressive 18 clean sheets with his solid displays.
They lost just once with Palhinha in the team all campaign. Two of their three defeats came at the start of the season when he was still recovering from coronavirus.
The player’s stock could rise further at the upcoming European Championship. He’s made the 26-man Portugal squad alongside Prem stars Bruno Fernandes and Ruben Dias, as well as skipper Cristiano Ronaldo.
Wolves might sign Palhinha to replace Ruben Neves. The fellow Portuguese is wanted by Arsenal in a €40million deal.
Neves has been a standout performer for Wolves during their last three seasons in the top flight, and would surely fit in well at a top six club.
While looking to complete a deal for Palhinha, club officials will continue the search for a new manager.
Bruno Lage is close to becoming Nuno’s replacement. His arrival was threatened by the failure to pass post-Brexit regulations, although a subsequent hearing saw him granted a work permit.
The 45-year-old took Benfica to the Primeira Liga title in 2018/19.
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