Wolves are edging closer towards signing Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Palhinha this summer, with a new report claiming that an agreement has been reached and that he wants to join Bruno Lage’s side.
The Lowdown: Palhinha linked with Wolves
There has been no shortage of speculation in recent days and weeks linking the Portugal international with a move to Molineux.
The 26-year-old appears to have been earmarked as the perfect replacement for Ruben Neves, who has been strongly linked with a move away from the Black Country.
It now looks as though Wolves are closer to getting their man, following a new update.
The Latest: Palhinha closer to Wolves move
According to Record [via Sport Witness], Wolves have an ‘agreement in principle’ to sign Palhinha, with a fee of approximately €20m (£17.1m) expected to be agreed, with the possibility of bonuses on top of that figure.
It is stated that the transfer won’t happen until Neves departs, but the Sporting player has told his manager Ruben Amorim that he wants the move to happen.
The Verdict: Get it done
To miss out on Palhinha now would be a big blow for Wolves, especially with Palhinha seemingly so keen on coming to Molineux, so it is vital that they get this deal over the line in the coming weeks.
Replacing Neves is going to be a difficult task, considering the influence he has enjoyed at Wolves. The 25-year-old was the highest-ranked midfielder in Lage’s squad last season as per WhoScored, while only centre-forward Raul Jimenez posted a greater shots-per-game average than his 1.3.
However Palhinha is similarly metronomic in the middle of the park, keeping the ball ticking over (he had an 87.8% pass completion rate in the Primeira Liga last term) while offering a strong off-the-ball presence. He averaged three tackles per game in the league in 2021/22, which was more than any other Sporting player (or Wolves, for that matter).
Therefore, he seems the ideal candidate to pick up where Neves seems set to leave off.
In other news, Wolves are reportedly in pole position to sign one player. Find out who it is here
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