Wolverhampton Wanderers are set for a busy deadline day as Gary O’Neil bids to seal some last-ditch signings and sanctions a few outgoing transfers before the sales end.
The Molineux outfit have kept their powder dry through much of the window, which also led to Julen Lopetegui’s departure. He grew frustrated at their lack of signings after only landing Tom King and Matt Doherty. Even though Wolves said farewell to their captain Ruben Neves.
Nathan Collins, Conor Coady and Raul Jimenez also left the West Midlands for pastures new across the sales. While Joao Moutinho and Adama Traore also left Wolves at the end of their contracts. And Wolves will not close the exit door at Compton Park on deadline day, either.
A further flurry of faces could depart for pastures new before the sales slam shut to Premier League clubs at 23:00 BST on September 1. O’Neil also hopes Wolves can use the last hours of the transfer market to agree to some signings during what should be a busy deadline day.
Wolves are still in need of last-ditch reinforcements after a tepid start to the term. A 1-0 win at Everton gave O’Neil his first three points after losing to Manchester United and Brighton. But only Everton (0), Burnley and Luton Town (1) have hit fewer goals than the Old Gold (2).
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Wolves’ potential transfer deadline day signings
In an attempt to address Wolves’ tepid attack which scored (31) the Premier League’s fewest goals in 2022/23, O’Neil is targeting a deadline day transfer with Manchester City for Tommy Doyle. The Telegraph notes that he will move to Molineux on loan with a £5m option to buy.
Manchester City will also retain a 50% sell-on clause for Doyle, who Wolves valued at £15m. The 21-year-old midfielder excelled on loan to Sheffield United last season with four goals in 38 games. He also penned seven assists with the Blades including four in the Championship.
Wolves have also shifted their eyes to a transfer for Jean-Ricner Bellegarde after his club RC Strasbourg Alsace rejected O’Neil’s pursuit of Habib Diarra. According to L’Equipe, Molineux chiefs bid €25m (£21.5m) including add-ons for Diarra but RCSA ‘politely refused’ their offer.
Strasbourg have given Bellegarde permission to leave the Stade de la Meinau, however. So, Wolves will chase a deadline day deal for the 25-year-old, who is out of contract with RCSA in 2024. The ex-France U21 international has eight goals and 16 assists in 138 RCSA games.
Another midfielder on O’Neil’s radar is Josh Brownhill as Wolves target a deadline day deal with Burnley. TEAMtalk reports that the Old Gold have held talks with the Clarets to thwart rival interest at Everton and Leeds United. He has now fallen out of favour to Sander Berge.
Vincent Kompany would prefer to retain Brownhill, who often captained Burnley en route to the 2022/23 Championship title. But Wolves are ready to test their resolve with the 27-year-old out of contract in 2024. He has 10 goals and 15 assists in 134 games at Turf Moor so far.
O’Neil may also shop in the Championship as Wolves consider a late deal for Adam Wharton of Blackburn Rovers. Alan Nixon reports that the West Midlands outfit are exploring raiding Lancashire to land the 19-year-old. Wolves greatly admire the teenager’s ability on the ball.
Wharton has only made 27 first-team appearances for Blackburn since breaking out of their academy in August 2022. But Jon Dahl Tomasson has exploited the England U19 gem’s skills to feature in deep-lying, central and advanced midfield areas for two goals and three assists.
Deadline day might even see a new goalkeeper arrive at Wolves as The Sun reports O’Neil is on red alert to Sam Johnstone’s availability. Crystal Palace may consider letting the 30-year-old leave Selhurst Park after securing a move for Dean Henderson from Manchester United.
Seven players who could still leave Molineux
Wolves will bid for Johnstone now Henderson has moved to Crystal Palace, sparking another deadline day deal involving Jose Sa. The Sun adds that Nottingham Forest will explore talks for the 30-year-old, having initially eyed a deal to sign Henderson from Manchester United.
Unlike the potential goalkeeper merry-go-round this deadline day, one outgoing deal that is vastly more likely at Wolves is Matheus Nunes to Manchester City. Sky Sports reports that a £53m fee has been fixed for the midfielder. The Old Gold will also get a 10% sell-on clause.
Another midfielder in Boubacar Traore might also be exit-bound on deadline day as L’Equipe cites interest from Borussia Monchengladbach. The Bundesliga team view the 22-year-old as an heir to Manu Kone and believe O’Neil will listen to bids after ignoring him in the league.
Daniel Podence is also yet to feature this season and may secure a deadline day transfer out of Wolves. The Express & Star notes that Podence wants to leave Molineux and that the Old Gold are open to offers. La Colina de Nervion also cites interest in Podence from Real Betis.
Traore may find that Hwang Hee-Chan arrives in the Bundesliga with him on deadline day, as well. The Daily Mail claims that Wolfsburg want to sign the Wolves forward previously on RB Leipzig’s books. Hwang has scored just 10 times in 66 outings for Wolves in all competitions.
A deadline day departure is also possible for Rayan Ait-Nouri, who could leave Wolves to go back to Ligue 1. The Angers SCO product is now of interest to OGC Nice, according to Foot Mercato. Les Aiglons love the left-back and dream about acquiring the Algeria international.
Reports by Foot Mercato have also suggested that Liverpool are interested in a deadline day deal with Wolves for Mario Lemina. It reports that the Reds are rivalling two Premier League clubs and sides from Saudi Arabia for his signature. Lemina leaving Wolves is not impossible.