According to Italian news outlet Calciomercato, Juventus are keen on signing Rayan Ait-Nouri in the January transfer window and could offer McKennie as a makeweight in any potential deal for the French left-back.
While the Old Gold may well be keen to keep the 21-year-old at Molineux, especially after his winning goal in Lopetegui’s first game as manager on Boxing Day, they have Hugo Bueno emerging as a top young talent in the same position, while Jonny can also provide cover there.
The report claims that, should any swap deal be discussed between the two sides, Wolves would have to offer around €15m (£13m) in order to bring McKennie to the Premier League next month.
Wolves’ midfield was once the crown jewel of their success in the Premier League but in Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Matheus Nunes, the Old Gold could be accused of having three players who don’t differ too much in terms of their attributes.
Moutinho has looked past his best in recent seasons, with his WhoScored average rating having declined rapidly since his impressive 2019/20 campaign, while Nunes has flattered to deceive since his club-record switch from Sporting Lisbon in the summer, with no goals and just one assist to his name thus far.
McKennie has struggled for regular game time in Serie A so far this season but has one goal and one assist to his name in Italy’s top flight, with WhoScored awarding him a solid 6.63 average rating, which ranks him ahead of all of Wolves’ midfielders bar Neves.
The 24-year-old – who can also play at centre-back – would catch the eye for the USA as they reached the round of 16 at the World Cup in Qatar, with his “outstanding” performance against England no doubt attracting the attention of a number of Premier League midfielders.
In a relegation battle, you often need a general in midfield who isn’t afraid to get stuck in, and with WhoScored suggesting that his defensive contribution is one of his main strengths, he could be a massive player for Lopetegui in the second half of the season.
Therefore, while Wolves might be reticent to lose Ait-Nouri, a move for McKennie should definitely be considered in next month’s window.