Wolves have made Japanese international Hayao Kawabe their first signing of the January transfer window.
The club confirmed that the 26-year-old has signed a three-and-a-half year contract at Molineux.
The Athletic report that Wolves have paid £500,000 to Grasshoppers for the playmaker and will loan him back to the Swiss outfit until the end of the season.
Grasshoppers are on their winter break at present and Scott Sellars has explained to the club website why Wolves have made the swoop now.
“Naturally, Hayao is a player we’ve watched a lot and he’s done really well this season,” said Sellars.
“He’s an attacking midfield player, very energetic, very busy, and has good quality. He’s really shone at Grasshoppers this year, and he’s one of the main reasons they’re doing so well.
“Due to the GBE criteria for signing international players, Hayao is a player who is eligible to sign for a British club this month, but may not be in the future, which is why we’ve moved now to confirm his signing.
“Hayao will spend January with Bruno’s group while the Swiss Super League is on a winter break, then he’ll likely return to Grasshoppers to finish the season there, as he has been an important player for them so far this season.”
It might seem slightly strange for Wolves to take the plunge mid-season when all they are going to do is send the player back to a club they have a great working relationship with anyway.
Sellars has cited changing rules and potential red tape and in that instance, it looks like decent forward planning to get the deal done while they still can.
Wolves fans would likely want a midfield reinforcement who is going to stick around beyond January and the nature of Sellars’ comments means that it is not completely out of the question that he remains at Molineux, provided he impresses in training.
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