Wolves have been dealt a potential blow in their long-running quest to sign Joao Palhinha this summer, with Bayer Leverkusen now seeing him as a ‘priority’ transfer target.
The Lowdown: Long-term target
Bruno Lage will be eager to bring in new faces between now and the start of next season, especially if he loses key figures such as Ruben Neves.
Palhinha has undoubtedly been the player most commonly linked with a move to Wolves, following an impressive season at the heart of Sporting CP’s midfield.
The Latest: Possible blow emerges
On the plus side, they could struggle to stump up the cash to sign the 26-year-old, with it looking as though they are only willing to spend €15million (£12.7m) on him.
Sporting want between €20-25million (£17m-21.2m) for the Portuguese maestro’s services.
The Verdict: Competition going to be tough
Palhinha is a Champions League level player who averaged a 91.9% pass completion rate for Portugal in World Cup qualifying, so Wolves were always going to have a fight on their hands signing him.
The lure of playing for one of the Bundesliga’s top teams could sway the midfielder’s thinking, although much looks like it could depend on their lack of financial clout.
It feels like a transfer saga that could rumble on for some time, but if Wolves are to lose Neves, they simply must replace him with someone of Palhinha’s calibre or even better.
In other news, one Wolves player’s future remains uncertain. Find out who it is here.
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