Premier League • England

New boss Xavi ‘pressing’ Barcelona to complete Wolves deal in January

James Holland
Francisco Trincao Wolves

Xavi wants Barcelona to bring Francisco Trincao back to Spain in the January transfer window, according to reports.

The six-time Portugal international left Camp Nou earlier this year in a bid to gain more first-team experience. He joined Premier League outfit Wolves on a season-long loan.

Trincao made his debut in the 1-0 defeat to Leicester City back in August. He has so far featured in nine games in all competitions, scoring one goal. That strike came in the 4-0 Carabao Cup win over Championship side Nottingham Forest.

Trincao has put in some exciting performances so far. Wolves officials will be hoping he can convert some of his piercing runs into more goals after the international break.

However, he might not be in the West Midlands for much longer if Xavi gets his way. Sport Witness, citing reports in the Portuguese press, state that the new manager is intent on bringing Trincao back to Catalonia.

He reckons Barca is the best place for the winger to continue his exciting development. Trincao might also be needed to fill in for Ousmane Dembele after the Frenchman’s latest injury setback.

Wolves will be intent on keeping the 21-year-old as his standing in the squad is only growing. He is a source of much-needed creativity amid Pedro Neto’s absence.

Southampton need to target a winger

The Saints should look to invest in a winger in January.

Bruno Lage’s side reportedly paid €6m (£5.1m) to loan Trincao for the entire 2021-22 campaign. That means they will be owed compensation if he returns to his parent club early.

Wolves also have the option to make his loan permanent for around €30m (£25.7m). But they may not get the chance to do that if a January deal is struck first.

One player who looks set to make his temporary spell permanent is South Korea forward Hwang Hee-chan. The Telegraph recently revealed that Wolves are preparing to accelerate talks with his parent club, RB Leipzig. They want to trigger a deal worth £13m.

Hwang has managed four goals in eight league appearances so far this term.

Five managers looking to get back into work as vacancies open…

Lage fights off Traore questions

Meanwhile, Lage has reiterated his defiant stance over the future of Adama Traore. The pacy winger continues to be a target for Liverpool and Tottenham.

He was left on the bench at the weekend as Wolves were beaten 2-0 by Crystal Palace. Following the defeat, Lage was asked if Traore was dropped due to his ongoing contract saga.

“No, no, no. I don’t know what happened before. But for sure I am 100 per cent free to take my decisions and that is my job,” he said.

“The personality I have, I don’t accept these kinds of things in my role. One thing is the contract and the other thing is my ideas. If I need him to play and to win games, I will put him in again.”

Traore’s current deal expires in June 2023. If new terms cannot be agreed then Wolves may have to consider a sale next summer or risk losing the Spaniard on a free.

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