Wolves progress over Ligue 1 winner could hinge on Chelsea breakthrough

Date published: Monday 30th August 2021 3:57 - Steve Pearson

Jonathan David, Sven Botman, Zeki Celik, Lille celeb

Wolves remain ‘in talks’ with a Ligue 1 title winner, though whether they succeed could be tied to a Chelsea transfer breakthrough.

Despite three positive performances, Wolves remain both goal-less and win-less after three matches this season. Nevertheless, their encouraging displays would suggest Bruno Lage will not be presiding over a struggling team this season.

To help smoothen the transition from Nuno Espirito Santo, Wolves have set about re-shaping their squad this summer.

Jose Sa was drafted in to replace Rui Patricio in net. While Francisco Trincao and Hwang Hee-chan have added extra firepower in the final third.

Another position that could yet see change is at centre-back. Sky Sports report Wolves are locked ‘in talks’ with Lille’s Sven Botman.

The Dutchman, 21, played an integral role in Lille’s surprise Ligue 1 victory last season at PSG’s expense. However, interest from Spanish side Sevilla means a deal is not straight forward.

Indeed, Sky claim Sevilla hold an advantage through being able to offer Champions League football. Furthermore, it’s stated Sevilla will make a firm offer ‘once Jules Kounde’s potential deal to Chelsea is agreed.’

Chelsea have been chasing the 22-year-old for a number of months. Personal terms have long been agreed. The sticking point remains Sevilla’s reluctance to accept a knock-down fee given their strong bargaining position.

But with Kurt Zouma recently sold to West Ham, Chelsea are expected to double down in their efforts to land the Frenchman.

Speaking on Sky Sports News, trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano claimed Chelsea’s pursuit of Kounde is one to “keep an eye on” before the windoe closes on Tuesday night.

“Keep an eye on the situation at Chelsea,” said Romano. “It will be interesting to see what happens with Jules Kounde because now the deal with Sevilla looks complicated. There is still no total agreement.

Jules Kounde and Sandro Ramirez

“On this deal, Chelsea were really confident for days and days and days but now it is getting complicated. Let’s see if Chelsea will be able to change the situation.”

If Chelsea succeed in prising Kounde out of Seville, Wolves’ hopes of landing Botman would take a big hit.

Lille are already described as being ‘determined’ to keep the defender despite Wolves and Sevilla’s interest.

But if flush with Kounde cash, Sevilla would be more than capable of paying the £27m (€30m) Sky claim Lille may reluctantly accept.


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Pundit takes Wolves’ side in Pogba debate

Meanwhile, Jermaine Jenas voiced his disagreement with Paul Pogba over the incident that led to the winning goal for Manchester United against Wolves on Sunday.

Wolves felt aggrieved when Pogba appeared to be too forceful with his challenge on Neves in the build-up to Mason Greenwood’s winner. The Portuguese midfielder came off worse for wear. After the match, he insisted after he should have been awarded a free kick.

Pogba defended his challenge, insisting it was merely a 50/50. However, ex-Preier League midfielder Jenas has taken Neves’ side.

Jenas said: “Paul Pogba there, in the interview that we just witnessed, he said it is a 50-50.

“It’s not, it’s 60-40 in Neves’s favour. It’s a bad touch from Paul Pogba. The ball gets away from him, and he’s reaching and he’s stretching.”

READ MORE: Patience pays off as Wolves complete multi-year pursuit of Bundesliga striker

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