Wolves are reportedly in the hunt to sign Bayern Munich playmaker Renato Sanches, and while that could mean that Nuno Esprito Santo is looking to snap up one of Europe’s most highly-rated young talents, it could also mean that Ruben Neves will leave.
Portuguese newspaper DN claims on their website that Sanches, 20, has asked his agent Jorge Mendes to help him leave Bayern Munich in order to return to Benfica, however Wolves and Inter Milan are also said to be interested in the midfielder after a torrid loan spell at Swansea saw him earn just 15 appearances in all competitions.
It is understood that Bayern are not happy to let the Portugal international leave on loan again and would rather he left on a permanent basis for a fee worth over £17million.
Money may not be an object for Wolves in the upcoming transfer window as Chinese owners Fosun look to bring the squad up to Premier League standard, utilising their relationship with Mendes, who has already coaxed the likes of Diogo Jota, Helder Costa and Neves to Molineux.
Wolves’ interest in Sanches means that the writing is on the wall for fan favourite Mendes.
Lisbon-based journalist Marcus Alves has previously reported that that the Molineux star is due to sign for Liverpool in the summer, and the interest in Sanches may be Wolves’ way of preparing for the ex-Porto star to leave.
Both are two very similar types of deep-lying playmakers and while Neves is clearly a much better player, Mendes is likely to oversee this kind of ‘conveyor belt’ of talent coming through Molineux every other season.
Wolves fans need to get used to it though. Their club is going to be used and abused by Mendes to get his clients mega-money moves to some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Will it mean that Wanderers will be fighting to qualify for Europe in the Premier League next season? If Burnley can do it, they can. However it’s more likely that Nuno’s men are going to have to settle for a mid-table finish in their first campaign back in the big time.