This is set to be an intriguing summer on the transfer front for new Wolves manager Bruno Lage.
He’s already confirmed two transfers but there is much work to do as the vast majority of European players begin pre-season.
One of the biggest fears over the coming months is that Ruben Neves could leave Molineux behind.
The Portuguese is one of their most sellable assets and in a window where finances are limited, they may be forced to let him leave.
If Neves does depart then Wolves already have a replacement in mind.
That’s according to journalist Pedro Sepulveda who was speaking on Fabrizio Romano’s Twitch stream this week.
He commented: “If Ruben Neves moves from Wolverhampton, the player that Wolverhampton is going to buy is Joao Palhinha from Sporting.
“There are already some negotiations between Wolverhampton and Palhinha”
The news that Neves is potentially moving closer to the exit door is sure to frustrate supporters but if they replace him with Palhinha, they should be beaming from ear to ear.
The midfielder was selected for Portugal’s Euro 2020 squad after an impressive campaign at Sporting. He won the league on his way to becoming one of the sternest defensive midfielders in the Portuguese top-flight.
Palhinha was ruthless, combining a sense of grace in his passing with immense robustness in the challenge.
If Lage is going to replace Neves sufficiently, these are the two outstanding qualities he needs to look for.
Palhinha, however, is a big upgrade on the defensive side of the game. He completed 83.4% of his passes but made 3.3 successful tackles per outing. That statistic was then bettered during the European Championships as the 26-year-old won a whopping 4.5.
A destructive force, the midfielder combines elegance with destruction. Lage should be delighted if they can wrap up a deal to sign him.
Judging by his qualities, supporters must also be particularly pleased if Palhinha signs on the dotted line. He should be able to help them forget about Neves swiftly.