Wolves: Julen Lopetegui trying to sign Abde Ezzalzouli
Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui is attempting to entice Barcelona youngster Abde Ezzalzouli to the club this summer, journalist Pete O’Rourke reports.
The Lowdown: Ezzalzouli out on loan
The Moroccan was loaned out to Osasuna during last summer’s transfer window, with Xavi unable to guarantee him regular football at Camp Nou.
Ezzalzouli has struggled to set the world alight at his temporary club, however, failing to score and registering just two assists in 15 La Liga appearances.
The 21-year-old did however feature for Morocco at the 2022 World Cup, making three substitute appearances as his country reached the semi-finals.
The Latest: Lopetegui eyeing up move
Speaking to Give Me Sport, O’Rourke claimed that Lopetegui is looking to put his ‘Spanish connections’ to good use and sign Ezzalzouli this summer:
“I think if any deal was to happen, it would probably only be a loan deal because Barcelona see him as being a long-term part of their plans.
“So as I said, it’ll be a hard deal to do, but it does show that Lopetegui is using his Spanish connections to look for potential transfer targets.”
The Verdict: Great young option
While Ezzalzouli has clearly struggled to get going as Osasuna this season, he is still a young player of huge promise, having been hailed as ‘extraordinary’ by Xavi in the past.
A left winger with great pace and trickery, the five-time capped Morocco international is someone who could provide Wolves with an extra attacking spark, as well as representing a long-term signing if they can manage to squeeze an option to buy into the deal.
To have already made 12 appearances for a club of Barca’s size is no mean feat, and if they decide they do not see a future for Ezzalzouli, that could then work in Fosun and Lopetegui’s favour.
The fact that his contract there does not expire until 2026 will certainly make it tricky to convince the Catalans to do anything other than a short-term loan, but it is exciting to be shopping at such a prestigious table nonetheless.