Wolverhampton Wanderers are going to take the headlines if they manage to complete a club-record transfer for Porto midfielder Ruben Neves.
The Mirror report that the Midlands’ club have agreed on a fee of £18 million to sign the 20-year-old. If this does go through, it will represent a major coup for the Championship team as the player has been followed by top six Premier League clubs recently.
Porto’s financial problems are the reason behind a fee being agreed, but it is Jorge Mendes who has been the influential figure in taking this transfer to the point of completion.
Why is Ruben Neves moving to Wolves?
It would be near impossible for the majority, if not all, of the other teams in the Championship to do this deal. Firstly, there are few in the division that possess the finances that the Wolves ownership do. Another reason is that Ruben Neves will see his future at the highest level and a move to the English second tier is unlikely to appeal. This begs the question, why Wolves?
After taking over the club last summer, Fosun have completely changed the recruitment process and they are now targeting more foreign players, with several having links to Jorge Mendes. Paul Lambert left the club earlier this summer after only seven months, as he was unhappy with Mendes’ influence over transfers, as reported by Sky Sports.
The club have since denied that the Portuguese super-agent has too much influence over transfers, with the managing director, Laurie Dalrymple, stating that ‘he is a friend’ of the owners. He made it clear that Mendes is nothing more than an advisor to the club as an official position would break notable regulations.[interaction id=”595b66cef2d4938713c38ae4"]
Although not every signing has been related to Mendes, it is difficult not to be concerned at the relationship between the agent and Wolves. Last summer, Helder Costa, Silvio, Ivan Cavaleiro and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson were all signed with the help of the agent, to name only a few. Meanwhile, the appointment of Nuno Espirito Santo as manager and the signing of Roderick Miranda have shown the questionable relationship this summer.
It has often been said in recent years that agents have too much power in the game, but the link between Mendes and Wolves takes it to a whole new level. Helder Costa is too good for the Championship and Neves will be too if he moves to Molineux.
Although it is great that the Midlands club are attracting exciting talent to their club, the motivations of the players and Mendes, in particular, have to be questioned. It is unlikely the agent is bringing these players to the Championship because he has the best interests of Wolves in mind.
Should the Wolves fans be worried?
The majority of supporters on social media are embracing the new direction, despite Jorge Mendes being the influential figure behind it. They haven’t had the best few years and they now have owners that are prepared to spend big for the club. Without the link with Mendes, they wouldn’t have been able to attract this talent. At this stage, many see them as promotion contenders and it is difficult to argue with that, especially if they continue to spend money.
For outsiders looking in, the relationship with Mendes is cheapening Wolves and making the club little more than a tool that he is using to further his own interests. To begin with, he will be earning a significant amount of money from the transfers to take his players to the Midlands. He will then know that if they perform well, they will be sold on for more money, which will bring him an even larger pay day.
Mendes won’t care hugely if the team win promotion, as long as the players that he represents play well. The conflict of interest is clear to anybody that glances at the transfer business being conducted at Molineux and it will only be a matter of time before the authorities take a closer look.
Mendes has been in the game too long to break any rules, but that doesn’t mean that this relationship is right. There are positives and negatives. Wolves’ fans are going to focus on the positives and that is understandable. However, for everyone else, the rumoured deal for Neves comes with strings attached. We may never find out what they are, but it would be ignorant to suggest that they aren’t there.
Wolves signing Miguel Veloso would reunite him with long-time partner Joao Moutinho
The Portuguese pair formed a formidable partnership for both club and country and could potentially do similar at Wolves.
Wolves are being linked with a move for free agent midfielder Miguel Veloso. TEAMtalk are suggesting that the newly-promoted side are looking to add the 56-cap Portugal international to their fold this week. He is a free agent having left Genoa and Everton are reportedly also keen.
It would be an interesting signing for Wolves and one which, on paper, certainly makes sense. Veloso is represented by the Jorge Mendes ran Gestifute company. He is also a player with an illustrious record, winning titles with Sporting and Dynamo Kiev.
At Sporting he was considered one of Portugal’s most promising young talents. He was not alone in that respect. He came through to the first-team picture in Lisbon at the same time as another central midfielder, one Wolves fans will know very well.
Both Veloso and Joao Moutinho came through at Sporting in 2005. The pair went on to form a formidable partnership in the heart of Sporting’s midfield for the next five years. In 2010, both men left. Veloso headed to Kiev, whilst Moutinho made a controversial switch to Porto.
Moutinho went on to establish a reputation as one of the more consistent central midfielders in Europe.
So this summer, when Wolves signed him for a bargain fee of just £5 million, it was an eye-catching piece of business.
If they could also secure Veloso, the pair might be able to rekindle some of their old magic at Molineux.
Adama Traore records most successful dribbles in just 45 minutes on Wolves Debut
The youngster looked electric in his second half cameo this weekend.
It was a first Wolves appearance for £18 million club record signing Adam Traore this weekend, with the 22-year-old instantly living up to his exciting reputation.
The Midlands outfit would perhaps consider themselves unfortunate as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of 10-man Leicester City, but a debut performance for Traore was a highlight in an otherwise disappointing afternoon.
Against Leicester he displayed his ability to beat his man with ease, drifting in and out of opposing defenders as he ran down the right flank.
Only featuring in the second half against the Foxes, Traore completed seven dribbles in total while he completed a match-best two key passes.
In just 45 minutes, he completed more dribbles than any other player in an English top flight game so far this season, while he also tops the rankings across Europe.
It is fair to say the former Middlesbrough man would be one of the most dangerous players in the Premier League if he were able to improve on his decision making in the final third.
Despite Wolves’ slow start to the Premier League season, one thing that is guaranteed is the excitement the powerful winger will provide this season.
Andre Silva shows Wolves what they are missing with hat-trick on Sevilla debut
Wolves were linked with a move for the AC Milan striker this summer.
Wolverhampton Wanderers have struggled so far in their Premier League adventure. A 2-2 draw with Everton on the opening day came despite the Toffees being down to 10-men. However, they were put away by Leicester City this weekend in comfortable fashion.
One thing it seems Wolves may be missing is a clinical striker.
Leo Bonatini and Raul Jimenez might not be able to provide the goals Wolves need to repeat their Championship success in the top-flight.
This summer, Wolves were linked with plenty of players, owing to their links with ‘super agent’ Jorge Mendes.
One such player was Portugal striker Andre Silva.
After Gonzalo Higuain left Juventus for AC Milan, the Portuguese international was free to leave the San Siro.
The 22-year-old is represented by Mendes’ Gestifute company, which would have made facilitating a deal much easier. According to a report from TMW, Wolves were in the driving seat leading up to deadline day.
However, no deal was agreed and Silva ended up heading to Spain instead. He joined Sevilla on a season-long loan deal with a €35 million (£31.4 million) buying option.
Silva has certainly shown Wolves what they might be missing on his La Liga debut. Sevilla swept aside Rayo Vallecano 4-1 in their opening game of the season, with Silva scoring an impressive hat-trick.
Wolves are clearly trying to keep a decent balance on the books despite their promotion to the top-flight. However, they might have wanted to push harder for a Silva deal, as he starts his Spanish adventure with a bang.
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