Premier League • England

Reason Leeds and Aston Villa were swept aside in ‘huge’ Wolves striker coup emerges

Brazil international Matheus Cunha

Leeds Utd and Aston Villa comprised the main competition in Wolves’ move for Matheus Cunha, and TEAMtalk can exclusively reveal what swung the deal towards Molineux.

While not yet official, only last-ditch drama can prevent Wolves from completing an eye-catching coup.

The Premier League’s bottom side were reported to have struck a ‘full verbal agreement’ to sign Atletico Madrid’s Matheus Cunha on Tuesday.

That news came via Fabrizio Romano, with the transfer guru reporting an initial six-month loan with an obligation to buy has been agreed. Wolves will pay around £35m to make the move permanent next summer.

Personal terms have already been agreed with the eight-cap Brazil international. The 23-year-old will provide Wolves with much-needed firepower given their well-documented struggles in front of goal in recent times.

Indeed, Wolves are currently the lowest scorers in the division with just eight goals to their name. Everton and Nottingham Forest are next in line with 11 goals apiece.

Cunha has not shown his best since moving to Atletico from Hertha Berlin in 2021. However, he’ll relish a fresh start in the Premier League and the imminent arrival is widely viewed as a statement signing by Wolves.

Arsenal and Chelsea both reportedly rejected the chance to bring Cunha on board, per the Evening Standard.

However, those two clubs have vastly different objectives to Wolves and that should not detract from their achievement in the market.

Now, TEAMtalk’s transfer insider, Graeme Bailey, has shed light on the scale of Wolves’ coup.

One Wolves figure instrumental in Cunha coup

Bailey told us Leeds and Aston Villa both provided strong competition in the race, though claimed Julen Lopetegui was the difference-maker for Wolves.

The former Spain, Real Madrid and Sevilla boss officially succeeded Bruno Lage on November 13. Bailey explained that even with Wolves’ connection to super agent Jorge Mendes, the deal would not have been possible without Lopetegui.

“Matheus Cunha arriving at Wolves is a huge coup for them, but it is also a real sign of intent from their new manager, Julen Lopetegui.

“Lopetegui is the key, even with the help of super agent Jorge Mendes, they would not be getting the Cunha deal over the line.

“Cunha had interest from all over Europe with Aston Villa and Leeds in England the main rivals.

“But he is heading to Molineux which is a huge boost for Wolves and their survival chances.”

PREMIER LEAGUE PREDICTIONS: Liverpool stopped in their tracks; Chelsea shocker; no halting Arsenal, Man Utd, City