Wolves ‘look to sell’ two more defenders in Lopetegui rebuild
Wolverhampton Wanderers transfer news from BirminghamLive as the club puts plans together for the 2023/24 Premier League season
Wolves have made a determined start to the summer transfer window as they look to generate money to satisfy Financial Fair Play regulations and fund the arrival of new signings.
The £47million sale of captain Ruben Neves to Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal was followed on Saturday by Conor Coady’s move to Leicester, a deal worth an initial £7.5m plus a further £1m if the Foxes win promotion from the Championship.
That’s given the club some certainty as they plan for new arrivals, although there are likely to be some more players on their way out before the transfer window closes at the end of August.
One area where Wolves have a surplus is at left back as they have Rayan Ait-Nouri, Ryan Giles, Jonny and Hugo Bueno competing for places – and versatile defender Toti also comes into consideration after the centre half did a solid job on the left in the latter stages of this past season.
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So, who will Wolves look to sell, who do they want to keep and whose future has yet to be decided as Julen Lopetegui and sporting director Matt Hobbs put their plans together for the club’s sixth successive season in the top flight?
The Athletic reports Ait-Nouri and Jonny are up for sale, say the club will want to keep Bueno and Toti and believe the future of Giles has yet to be decided as Lopetegui prepares to work with him for the first time.
Giles, aged 23, is unlikely to be short of suitors if Wolves decide to cash in on their academy graduate. He has impressed during loans to the Championship with Cardiff and Middlesbrough including being a regular at Boro last season as he provided 11 assists from the left side of defence to help Michael Carrick’s team reach the play-off semi finals.
Ait-Nouri didn’t feature much under Julen Lopetegui last season. He only started two Premier League games after the turn of the year, although Wolves won both, against Liverpool and Southampton.
The 22 year old was used on the left wing under Lopetegui but the manager said his long term future was at left back. But the manager also said that, as is typical of young players, he has to improve the defensive side of his game. The youngster cost £9.5m from Angers two years ago, a deal that included a 50 per cent sell on clause.
Jonny, aged 29, didn’t feature after he was sent off in the defeat at home to Leeds in March. The Spaniard signed a four year deal in 2021 but has been held back by injuries. The versatile full back has made 131 appearances for the club since he arrived from Atletico Madrid, initially on loan and then in a £15m deal in January 2019.