Barcelona would reportedly only be able to get Adama Traore back by taking him on loan again, or proposing a player swap deal to Wolves.
According to SPORT, the Catalan giants do not have the means to buy Traore, as had been the hope of Wanderers.
Eyebrows were raised when Wolves allowed the Spaniard to join his former club on loan in January, without securing an obligation to buy.
Instead, Wolves negotiated an option-to-buy, worth around £29 million.
Things started really well for Traore at the Nou Camp, with the player making four assists in his first five games.
MORE WOLVES STORIES
But he has tailed off quite dramatically since then, with Xavi mainly using him from the bench now.
He has now not started a game in La Liga since February 27.
It is a nightmare scenario for Wolves, with the star’s value dropping by the week.
The club may have had hopes of Barca triggering the option to buy. But it now appears almost certain that that won’t happen.
Apparently, the only way Barca would have Traore back is if they got him on loan again. Or if Wolves accepted one of their players a swap deal.
The claim comes after Barca president Joan Laporta actually suggested a potential swap deal involving Francisco Trincao could be ‘a very good option’.
Given Traore will enter into the final year of his contract at Molineux in the summer, another loan move would make no sense for Wolves.
He will not sign an extension, meaning Wolves realistically have got to offload him in the next window.
Wolves should never have agreed loan with option-to-buy with Barcelona over Adama Traore
It felt strange at the time. And now, it is looking very much as though Wolves have been done over by Barca.
The club should never have let a player as influential as Traore leave mid-season without securing a guaranteed payment at the end.
It was especially risky to agree such a deal with Barcelona, with their well documented financial issues.
Perhaps Wolves officials were hoping Traore would at least just feature regularly for Barca and impress so much that his value would stay relatively high.
But that hasn’t happened, and now Wolves are looking at a situation of potentially selling Traore much cheaper than they’d hoped.