TalkSPORT reporter Alex Crook has suggested Wolverhampton Wanderers will have to prioritise a new contract for Joao Moutinho over incomings.
The lowdown: Portuguese dilemma
Wolves are facing somewhat of a midfield conundrum this summer as talismanic star Ruben Neves has been heavily linked with a move away from Molineux.
The Molineux hierarchy have since been working hard to find a replacement for the 25-year-old and have seemingly earmarked Sporting Lisbon sensation Matheus Nunes as the leading candidate to fill the void.
However, that move has its own roadblocks, while veteran midfielder Moutinho is also set to become a free agent this week and the 35-year-old is seemingly no nearer to extending a four-year spell in the Midlands.
The latest: ‘Haven’t got the money’
Speaking to Give Me Sport, Crook has suggested that Wolves will be more inclined to offer a new deal to Moutinho as they ‘haven’t got the money’ for Nunes.
He said: “I think it’s already come out in Portugal that they haven’t got the money to do that deal at the moment unless they were to sell Neves.
“I think it’s more likely at this stage that they’re going to pump money into extending Moutinho’s contract and get him tied down to stay for the long haul.”
The verdict: Has to be both
Although the potential suitors for the £70million rated Neves appear to have subsided, for the time being at least, it remains within the realms of possibility that the cultured ace will be at the centre of renewed interest this summer and a sale could well be the outcome.
As such, tying down the evergreen 145 cap Moutinho and adding a long-term successor in the shape of Nunes has to be high on the list of priorities for the Old Gold board.
Still an elite-level operator despite his advancing years, the £100,000 per week maestro – who was described as a ‘class act’ by journalist Tim Spiers – earned a 6.96 Sofascore rating last during 2021/22 whilst showcasing his impressive ball retention skills with 47.6 accurate passes per game at an 87 per cent success rate.
Given the continued levels of performance and the lack of ready-made replacements in situ at Molineux, Bruno Lage should be pushing hard on Jeff Shi to tie down the mercurial Portuguese star whilst still actively pursuing Nunes.
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