Wolves risk losing one of their players to a direct rival after two fellow Premier League sides were linked with full-back Rayan Ait-Nouri.
Ait-Nouri joined Wolves, initially on loan, in October 2020. The move became a permanent one in July of this year. After 24 appearances in his debut year for Wolves, he has played 10 times across all competitions so far this term.
The left-back has provided two assists (one each in the Premier League and Carabao Cup). He has been starting regularly in recent weeks for Bruno Lage’s side. It seems his performances have been attracting admiration from elsewhere.
According to Jeunes Footeux, a website from his native France, Ait-Nouri has become a target for Crystal Palace and Newcastle United.
Palace are seen as the frontrunners for his signature. They need a new left-back after releasing Patrick van Aanholt in the summer and failing to replace him.
As things stand, the promising Tyrick Mitchell is the only recognised left-back they have. Mitchell is good, but cannot carry the whole workload himself.
Ait-Nouri could therefore be a useful alternative for them to bring into the squad.
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Newcastle would also be willing to offer Ait-Nouri a different platform. They have money to spend following their Saudi-backed takeover. But they may struggle to convince top talents to join them while in a relegation battle.
After 15 games, Wolves are 11 points above Newcastle in the Premier League table. Therefore, it would be a step down for Ait-Nouri in the immediate present. But the lure of a brighter future at St James’ Park may give him something to consider.
Still, Jeunes Footeux believe Palace are the primary suitors. Patrick Vieira has, in fact, instructed the club’s transfer chiefs to explore a deal. Again, though, their form has been inferior to Wolves’ so far this term.
Therefore, Ait-Nouri may yet find the best solution is to stay at Molineux. Furthermore, Wolves would not want to let him go for less than €25m (£21.4m).
They still have him under a long-term contract until 2026, with the option of a further year.
Ait-Nouri not only star Wolves could lose
Meanwhile, another player to be linked with a move away from Wolves is Adama Traore.
The Spain international has had a mixed career at Molineux since his arrival in the West Midlands. While he excelled at the height of Nuno Espirito Santo’s reign, he has struggled for form since the start of last season.
What’s more, his contract situation remains a pressing off-field issue. Traore’s current deal runs out in 2023 and, as yet, there are no concrete signs that an extension is forthcoming.
Links with a move away from Molineux for Traore have grown over the past year. While Tottenham and Valencia have supposedly had past interest, links with Liverpool remain stronger.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp reportedly admires the player’s pace, strength and ability to run with the ball, features that Klopp believes would work well in his team.
However, reports from Spain now claim that former Barcelona man Traore’s priority is to move back to La Liga.
Indeed, he wants to sign for Real Madrid and work under manager Carlo Ancelotti.
As such, El Nacional claims that Traore has instructed his agent to sort out a transfer and the representative has got to work. At £20m, the 25-year-old hopes that Madrid president Florentino Perez will be tempted to invest.