Interest is growing in Wolverhampton Wanderers left-back Ruben Vinagre this summer.
That’s according to a report by Portuguese media outlet Jornal de Noticias (via Sport Witness), who claimed that both Benfica and Sporting Lisbon are considering a move for the Portugal under-21 international in the summer transfer window.
However, it is then reported that Benfica could be put off by Wolves’ €15m (£13m) asking price for the 22-year-old, while it is also suggested that new coach Bruno Lage may wish to reassess Vinagre’s position at Molineux before sanctioning his sale.
Having moved to Wolves from AS Monaco in what was originally a season-long loan deal which the club went on to make a £2.03m permanent move in the summer of 2018, it seems fair to say that Vinagre has not proven to be one of Wolves’ better signings in recent years.
Indeed, over his three campaigns prior to last season, the £4.5m-rated left-back made nine Championship appearances in 2017/18, averaging a SofaScore match rating of 6.75, 17 Premier League appearances in 2018/19, averaging a match rating of 6.63 and 16 Premier League appearances in 2019/20, earning a seasonal match rating of 6.74.
Last term, the £30,000-per-week defender managed just two top-flight appearances for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, having fallen behind both Jonny Otto and Rayan Ait-Nouri in the left-back pecking order, before being sent out on loan to Liga NOS club Famalicao for the second half of the season.
With it being reported that Wolves are in talks with Angers regarding the permanent transfer of Ait-Nouri this summer, there would not appear to be much room for Vinagre in Bruno Lage’s squad ahead of next season.
As such, considering his underwhelming performances as well as a rather inflated weekly wage, should Wolves receive an offer anywhere near their reported £13m asking price for the man Nuno previously dubbed a “special” player, it would seem a wise move for Lage to cash in on the defender this summer.