Wolves are set to reignite their interest in Lille midfielder Renato Sanches and hope to use a trusted ally to fend off three European heavyweights.
The West Midlanders are now a club on the up after a worrying start to the season. Nuno Espirito Santo’s departure paved the way for Bruno Lage to take over at Molineux. But the Portuguese tactician’s reign began poorly, with four defeats from their first five games.
However, three of those losses came against Leicester City, Tottenham and Manchester United – all by a score of 1-0. A run of five wins and one draw from seven outings has seen Wanderers climb to sixth in the standings.
And Lage made it clear he always expected it to take a few weeks before his methods began to pay off. The challenge now is to keep the run going and he may need a few fresh faces in the new year.
Sanches is one player who has been on the radar for some time. The Portugal international was linked with a switch to the Black Country last summer.
The move failed to materialise and the trail seemed to go cold. Italian giants AC Milan plus Premier League duo Arsenal and Liverpool are said to be keen.
And, in a recent interview, the former Bayern Munich ace has hinted he is keen for a new challenge. Asked about his future, Sanches told L’Equipe (via Sport Witness): “Maybe Milan and Arsenal are interested but I don’t know.
“I spoke with my agent, I know which clubs are calling and which are not, but I can’t tell now. I know I’m ready. “If an offer comes in, I’ll find out what’s best for me.”
Sanches could follow stablemates to Molineux
Jorge Mendes is Sanches’s agent and the Portuguese has brokered many deals taking players to Wolves. Whether or not that gives Lage an advantage only time will tell but it should be a bonus for the black and gold.
Sanches has been with Lille since August 2019. He has struggled with several injuries, the worst of which was a knee problem that sidelined him for two months.
When fit, he is a real asset in midfield, mixing solid defensive duties with the ability to pick a pass. Capable of playing in multiple positions, the 24-year-old is in demand and will have decisions to make in January.