Premier League • England

Wolves deep in talks with free agent Belgium international, though Prem rivals threaten to derail savvy coup

Belgium internationals Eden Hazard, Yannick Carrasco, Jason Denayer, Timothy Castagne and Youri Tielemans

Wolves are continuing talks with Jason Denayer about a move back to England, but a number of other clubs are showing an interest in the Belgian international defender, TEAMtalk understands.

The 27-year-old central defender is one of the highest profile free agents currently available on the market. Denayer left Lyon upon expiry of his contract in the summer and can count the likes of Man City and Celtic among his previous clubs.

Despite being unable to find a new home thus far, Denayer remains an important part of Belgium’s World Cup plans.

Indeed, he featured 13 times for Roberto Martinez’s side in 2021, and has made a further two appearances in 2022.

Denayer is still looking at going to the World Cup finals, but knows he needs to be playing football before the final squads are named in November.

Wolves were heavily linked once the summer window slammed shut on Thursday, September 1.

Bruno Lage’s side lost three centre-halves over the summer: Conor Coady, Romain Saiss and Willy Boly.

Leander Dendoncker who could deputise in defence was also moved out to Aston Villa.

Nathan Collins arrived from Burnley and has formed a formidable partnership with Max Kilman so far.

However, Lage went on record to state there’s a quality gap between his starters and those in reserve.

When speaking about the possibility of snapping Denayer up on September 2, Lage said: “Let’s see what happens in the next days.

Lage aware Denayer can fill need

“I know Denayer very well, I played against him in the Champions League.

“You are talking about a player who can play in the Champions League and for his national team.

“We’re very happy with our centre-backs. But there’s a gap between the two who are playing and the two who are not playing at the moment.

“If we have a chance to bring in one experienced player that would be better. They could be very important for the club in the future.”

Now, TEAMtalk has learned Wolves have been the closest to agreeing terms. But as it stands a breakthrough has not been made.

However, we understand there are other Premier League clubs who have spoken to him.

As such, if Denayer is truly the man Wolves want to bolster their ranks, the time to forge an agreement is now.

Wolves have already plundered free agent market

Free agents can be signed outside of the window restrictions and Wolves have already done just that.

When new signing Sasa Kalajdzic suffered an ACL injury on his debut, a new striker to provide back up to Raul Jimenez was targeted.

Wolves’ primary target was Diego Costa, though a work permit issue threatened to scupper the move.

That opened the door for Andy Carroll, though Wolves were ultimately able to secure the documentation they needed to sign Costa.

The ex-Chelsea firebrand signed a one-year deal, with Carroll going on to re-sign with former club Reading.