Wolves have reportedly submitted a second bid for OGC Nice midfielder Mario Lemina, as Julen Lopetegui looks to add to his midfield options at Molineux now the transfer window has opened.
The Old Gold have been linked with a move for the Gabon international in recent days and after seeing their first bid rejected, reports are claiming that Wolves have now gone back to the Ligue 1 side with a better offer.
According to Daily Mail journalist Tom Collomosse on Twitter, Lopetegui’s side have returned with a €5.5m (£4.9m) bid for the former Southampton midfielder.
However, Collomosse also claims that it might take a little more for Wolves to get a deal done, but it seems likely that the 29-year-old could return to the Premier League this month.
It is easy to see why Lopetegui might want to recruit a defensive-minded midfielder this month, given that the Old Gold possess a lot of technically gifted midfield players but not many natural battlers, which are definitely necessary in a relegation battle.
According to FBref, the fifth-most similar player to Lemina, when compared with other midfielders across Europe’s top leagues, is Brighton sensation Moises Caicedo.
When comparing Lemina and Caicedo’s performances from the current campaign, the two share remarkably similar stats with regard to tackles in the attacking third (both eight), goal-creating actions per 90 (0.11 vs 0.13) and touches in the defensive penalty area (38 vs 39).
According to WhoScored, Lemina and Caicedo also share the exact same strengths; interceptions, concentration and aerial duels, which suggests that they are very similar types of midfielders.
He said: “My goodness, this lad looks a powerhouse.
“I suppose when you’ve played for one of the biggest clubs in the world in Juventus, you should have all the tools to survive in any league.”
Lemina could be precisely what Lopetegui needs in his midfield if he is going to win ugly at Wolves and given his similarities with Caicedo, who is undoubtedly one of the most exciting prospects in the Premier League at the moment, the Spanish manager would be foolish not to bring the former Juventus man to Molineux.