Wolves now suffer 'real blow' over 'special' £20m star at Molineux

Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Bruno Lage laughing on the touchline

Wolverhampton Wanderers have suffered a ‘real blow’ by missing out on the signature of Joao Palhinha, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Midlands outfit looked to be at the front of the queue for the 26-year-old earlier in the summer before newly-promoted Fulham completed a deal with Sporting CP under their noses.

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Back in May, The Athletic reported that Palhinha and his former teammate Matheus Nunes were being lined up as potential replacements for their compatriots Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves.

Moutinho, though, has now signed a one-year contract at Molineux, ending any speculation surrounding the 35-year-old’s stay with the club.

However, it’s believed that Neves remains on the market having previously been linked with moves to the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Barcelona.

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Yet Wolves will be forced to assess alternative targets should Neves depart the club following a successful five-year stay, with Palhinha joining rivals Fulham instead.

The west London outfit have confirmed the Portugal international’s capture on a five-year contract in a deal worth £20 million.

What has O’Rourke said about Palhinha?

Palhinha was labelled ‘special’ by ex-manager Ruben Amorim and had established himself as one of the top engine room operators in Portuguese football in recent years

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And O’Rourke believes it will be a disappointment for Wolves to miss out on the 6 foot 3 ace, while their midfield could begin to look ‘pretty bare’ if Neves departs.

He told GiveMeSport: “It’s a real blow to lose out on Palhinha, they thought they were in the box seat to get him. So, if they miss out on their targets and they were to lose Neves, the midfield looks pretty bare straightaway.”

Who could Wolves sign?

TalkSPORT reporter Alex Crook has recently informed GMS that Wolves are ‘interested’ in signing Swansea City’s Flynn Downes.

The 23-year-old only arrived at the Liberty Stadium from boyhood club Ipswich Town 12 months ago but has been tipped to make another step up in his career following an outstanding 2021/22.

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It’s claimed that Downes would set Wolves back £12m, a fee they may only be able to afford if there are departures beforehand.

Meanwhile, Bruno Lage’s charges remain in the hunt for Nunes, yet they face fierce competition for the attack-minded star and convincing him to join the club could prove to be a difficult task.

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