Premier League • England

Joao Moutinho hailed as Bruno Lage gets his way over new deal for Wolves star

Joao Moutinho Portugal June 2022

Joao Moutinho’s relationship with Bruno Lage has been cited as one of the major reasons why the veteran has signed a new one-year deal at Wolves.

The 35-year-old midfielder was out of contract this summer. And there was uncertainty surrounding his future. In fact it looked as though Wolves’ hierarchy will willing to let the player move on.

According to Jornal De Noticias in his native Portugal, Lage has asked Wolves to keep his compatriot. And he has got his wish with Moutinho now due to return for pre-season at the club’s Compton training ground on Wednesday.

Wolves technical director Scott Sellars told the club’s website: “In Joao’s time at the club, he’s been vital, bringing real experience and quality to the group, so to get him re-signed is a massive boost for us all.

“With contracts, it’s about getting to a place where everybody’s happy, the club and the player. And it isn’t always easy, but in the end what matters is the outcome and we’re very happy with it.

“He’s a huge influence in the dressing room, with the younger players, and sets standards that they follow. His and Bruno’s (Lage) relationship is very important. As a coach, you like players who can solve things on the pitch, and Joao is certainly one of them.

Moutinho has ‘right mentality’

“During his time with us, and the data will prove it, he hasn’t dropped his performance levels, with the football and physically, he’s very fit and very professional, so it’s no surprise he’s still playing to such a high standard at his age.

“You don’t play at the top for so long, being a regular international for Portugal, if you’ve not got the right mentality and attitude. If you’re going to be a professional athlete, you’ve got to have competitiveness with whatever you do, and he has that in abundance.

“If you look at him across the board – technically, physically and mentally, how he is around the place, he’s so important, and we look forward to seeing Joao back at Compton this week and being a part of the squad this season.”

Moutinho has spent four seasons at Molineux after signing from Monaco for £5m in 2018.

He has made 176 appearances, scoring five goals, including 34 Premier League starts last season.