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Championship

Renato Sanches must heed Carlos Carvalhal advice and ignore Wolves interest

The Portugal talent has been linked with a move to newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Mathew Coull

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When Swansea City managed to convince Renato Sanches to head to the Liberty Stadium in the summer it looked like one of the coups of the transfer window. The Portuguese prospect had shone at the European Championships in 2016, being named the best young player in the competition. Such form had earned him a move to Bayern Munich. There, things had stalled for the young talent, but he was still an eye-catching recruit for the Swans.

However, he struggled to find his best form in South Wales. He ended up out of the team more than he was in it, playing just 704 minutes of Premier League football as Swansea were relegated to the Championship. The ‘highlight’ of his time at the club, arguably his mislayed pass toward an advertising hoarding he mistook for a team-mate v Chelsea in November.

(Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

But it seems the Bayern youngster may get a Premier League reprieve. Championship winners Wolverhampton Wanderers are said to be interested in adding the talented midfielder to their Portuguese ranks.

Diario de Noticias have reported that Wolves are keen to bring Sanches to Molineux this summer ahead of a Premier League campaign.

But despite the interest from Wolves, surely a return to Benfica is in the best interests of the young player. That is indeed the thought of outgoing Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal, who was quoted by The Telegraph as stating:

“Renato knows he has had a very bad season. He is not at the level he was and when he had the injury in January, it finished him. He would agree this has been a really bad season for him. Someone told me he could go back to Benfica and if he can, it is the best step for him…

“I think by going back to Benfica and having his friends and mother and father around him – and a good club to support him – he can achieve the best level. He needs to go back to Portugal because he is a boy and he is not ready for Premier League level.”

Whilst a move to Wolves could be beneficial, considering the amount of his countryman at the club, Carvalhal’s point is valid.

The 20-year-old appears to have gone backward since his move to Bayern and the Premier League looked to be a step too far for him last season.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Playing week-in week-out at this intensity was clearly not something Sanches is yet ready to achieve, doing so with Wolves will surely not be any different.

Wolves can be forgiven for their interest in the player. His performances at Euro 2016 were such that his poor form since is often forgotten.

But the best move for the player would be to head home and finish his development. One day, he will surely become the star it seemed he would. But right now, a move to Wolves could just set him back even further.

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Derby County

Sam Winnall to Stoke looks inevitable after Gary Rowett arrival

Josh Kerr

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Sam Winnall
Photo: Getty Images

Gary Rowett’s move to Stoke City from Derby County has added further fuel to the fire regarding Sam Winnall’s future and a potential move to Staffordshire for the new season.

The two have previously been together during their time at Burton Albion, and Rowett opted to bring the 27-year-old to Pride Park on a loan deal this season.

Winnall scored four goals in 16 Championship games for Sheffield Wednesday after arriving at Hillsborough in January 2017 from local rivals Barnsley.

He was underwhelming for the Owls initially and hence the club decided to loan him to his former manager.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Nonetheless, he has enjoyed some success at Derby this season, winning the club’s Goal of the Season award for his memorable strike against Ipswich Town back in December.

Injury has restricted Winnall to just six Championship starts but despite his time spent on the sidelines, the fans have enjoyed the Englishman’s time at Pride Park and are crying out for him to stay.

Nonetheless, Rowett’s move to Stoke was the icing on the cake for Wednesday supporters and unsurprisingly talk of a switch to the Bet365 Stadium has surfaced on social media.

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Leeds United

Leeds United should bring in free agent Nick Townsend

The former Barnsley goalkeeper has worked under Leeds United boss Paul Heckingbottom previously.

Mathew Coull

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Leeds United are said to be in the hunt for a new goalkeeper this summer. Last summer’s recruits Felix Wiedwald and Andy Lonergan both proved unsuccessful and could find themselves leaving this summer. The former is expected to return to Germany whilst the latter was offered to Sunderland in the winter but pulled the plug on the deal.

At the moment, youngster Bailey Peacock-Farrell is the number one stopper at Leeds and he has performed valiantly since being given the role.

But new recruits are expected this summer, with the likes of Angus Gunn and David Stockdale already being mentioned.

Leeds should, however, look closer to home and bring in Nick Townsend this summer.

Many Leeds fans will now be shouting who? The 23-year-old stopper is currently a free agent, with his contract at Barnsley being terminated this summer.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

He joined Barnsley from Birmingham City in 2015 and went on to play 18 games for the club in three seasons, including some under the guidance of current Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom.

Heckingbottom was a big fan of Townsend’s, who he trusted as his main back-up stopper during his time at Oakwell. Townsend, who made the news after injuring his finger in a training ground bust-up with a team-mate earlier this year, is now on the hunt for a new challenge.

Leeds could be the perfect location. Of course, Townsend should not be considered a number one goalie. But if Leeds are to lose both Wiedwald and Lonergan this summer then they may need two new keepers in the door.

Townsend is a reliable option when called upon and one who Heckingbottom knows well and can trust.

Bringing him into the Leeds squad would be a fine piece of business as it would certainly strengthen what is a weak area of the Leeds United first-team.

It is not a deal that will blow you away, but bringing in Townsend would be a smart piece of business for Leeds United.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Giorgian de Arrascaeta signing would represent transfer of intent from Wolves

Josh Kerr

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Photo: getty Images

According to Fox Sports Brazil, Wolverhampton Wanderers are weighing up a bid for World Cup bound-midfielder Giorgian de Arrascaeta.

The Uruguay international, an attacking midfielder with 13 caps for his national side, is attracting the attention of many European sides who are hoping to lure him away from the Brazilian league ahead of the summer World Cup.

Wolves fans will be delighted to see themselves linked with another established name in world football and will look to the success of star man Ruben Neves as inspiration for the move.

The former Porto star was a revelation at Wolves this season, scoring six goals along the way, and was nominated for both the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Season in the Championship. Neves’s success will give fans every bit of hope that De Arrascaeta would have a similar fate should he sign for the high-achieving club.

The current Cruzeiro player has spent the last three seasons playing in Brazil’s top flight, making 73 appearances and scoring 16 goals, after making the move from Defensor Sporting in Uruguay.

(Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

The midfielder’s attacking flair could match that of Diego Jota, whose permanent deal from at Molineux, from Atletico Madrid, hasn’t yet been confirmed.

He would be the perfect addition for the Midlands outfit as they look to restablish themselves in England’s top-flight and ensure their continued Premier League status.

It is important that the deal gets done quickly as De Arrascaeta will soon be turning his attention to the World Cup and interest in his services is only likely to increase.

He signed a contract extension in February which runs until 2021, but the luxury of the Premier League may be enough to tempt the young Uruguayan to the Championship winners this summer.

If he signs, he would prove another useful attacking option, especially if Jota remains at the club.

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