Juventus Keen on Wolves Ruben Neves

Juventus are apparently interested in bringing Wolverhampton Wanderers midfield Ruben Neves to Turin, following a meeting between Sporting Director Fabio Paratici, Club President Andrea Agnelli and super agent Jorge Mendes.

Mendes represents Neves, who joined the English side for around €18m in July 2017 and lead the team's promotion to the Premier League, as well as current Juve players Joao Cancelo and Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to ​Tuttosport, while the meeting served principally as a catch up between the trio, and is not an irregular occurrence, it is understood the idea of Ruben Neves switching Wolverhampton for ​Turin was discussed.

The Portuguese midfielder, who was most recently in action for his country as they sealed their progression to the UEFA Nations League Finals with a 0-0 draw against Italy in Milan, has been integral to Wolves' impressive start to life in the Premier League.

The 21-year-old has played every single minute of the Wanderers' league campaign so far, providing two goals and an assist.

Alongside the discussions about Neves, the prosperity of ​Ronaldo's move to I Bianconeri was also brought up in the meeting, which was also incidentally held in Milan. And Mendes is understood to have outlined his five-time Ballon d'Or winning client's satisfaction with his switch from ​Real Madrid to Juve.

As for Neves, the 36-time Serie A champions are thought to be keen to secure his services this January if possible, though ​Wolves fans can be comforted by the bumper five-year contract that their player signed this summer.

Source: 90Min.com

Sporting Lisbon: Mihajlovic named as club's new manager

New Sporting Lisbon manager Sinisa Mihajlovic says his first objective for the troubled club is to "do better than last year".

A group of 50 fans reportedly attacked players and staff in May, after the club missed out on a Champions League place on the final day of the season.

Nine players have terminated their contracts in response to the incident.

One of those - Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio, who is in Russia for the World Cup - joined Wolves on Monday.

Serb Mihajlovic, 49, replaces Jorge Jesus, who left the club on 6 June.

He has previously managed six Italian teams, including AC Milan, and Serbia's national team.

Three of Patricio's Portugal team-mates - William Carvalho, Gelson Martins and Bruno Fernandes - have also left Sporting, as have Ruben Ribeiro, Bas Dost, Daniel Podence, Rafael Leao and Rodrigo Battaglia.

The players wrote to the club citing "just cause" following the attack at Sporting's training base on 15 May, five days before they lost in the Portuguese Cup final.

In April, president Bruno de Carvalho claimed to have suspended 19 first-team players after a Europa League defeat by Atletico Madrid, although he deleted the post on social media and most of the players featured in their next game.

Source: BBC NEWS

No Wembley return for beaten finalists Southampton as Wolves spring a surprise

Last season's runners-up are out of the Carabao Cup as Southampton were stunned 2-0 at home by Championship side Wolves.

Southampton, who lost 3-2 to Manchester United in February's final at Wembley, fell at the first hurdle this time.

Danny Batth headed in Ivan Cavaleiro's corner in the 67th minute and substitute Donovan Wilson ran through to make it 2-0 with three minutes left.

It was Wolves' third Premier League scalp in cup competitions during 2017, following FA Cup wins against Stoke and Liverpool last season - and came despite boss Nuno Espirito Santo making 11 changes from Saturday's defeat to Cardiff.

Burnley's 2-0 victory against bitter rivals Blackburn at Ewood Park was marred by fans running on to the pitch.

Blackburn fans confronted Clarets players after Jack Cork headed in Robbie Brady's cross to give the visitors a 27th-minute lead.

One appeared to push captain James Tarkowski before being tackled to the ground by Ashley Westwood.

The individual was eventually led away by stewards along with the other fan, while a Burnley supporter was also ejected after a flare was set off in the away end.

Brady added a second in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time to secure a comfortable win for the Clarets.

Elsewhere, Premier League high-fliers Huddersfield had to come from behind to beat Yorkshire rivals Rotherham 2-1.

The League One side took the lead inside the opening minute when Anthony Forde's cross was headed in by Semi Ajayi.

But David Wagner's men turned it around with two goals in three minutes early in the second half.

First Philip Billing converted from the penalty spot after Laurent Depoitre was fouled by Will Vaulks, before Joe Lolley added the finishing touch to a flowing move in the 54th minute.

West Ham eased past League Two Cheltenham 2-0.

The Hammers took the lead five minutes before half-time when Diafra Sakho slotted in his first goal since November before Andre Ayew added a second three minutes later.

Joe Allen only played 45 minutes but managed two goals and an assist as Stoke eased past League One Rochdale 4-0.

The Wales midfielder headed Stoke into a 16th-minute lead, set up Peter Crouch for the second just before the half-hour mark and added a third with three minutes left of the period.

Ramadan Sobhi struck with 10 minutes left to round off a comprehensive home win.

Source: PA



Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.Source: Football.co.uk

Wolves smash transfer record to sign Porto midfielder Ruben Neves

Wolves have smashed their transfer record to sign Ruben Neves from Porto and confirmed a loan deal for defender Willy Boly.

Defensive midfielder Neves has signed a five-year deal for around £15million to link up with former manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

Boly follows Neves from Porto and has penned a season-long loan deal as the Sky Bet Championship side continue to revamp their squad.

The club is also close to signing former Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy on a free transfer after Carl Ikeme's shock leukemia diagnosis.

Portugal international Neves made 76 appearances for Porto and the fee tops the £12million Wolves paid for Helder Costa in January.

"I'm very excited to play at this club," he told the club's official site. "It is a very big club and I hope to help the team to win their goals.

"I have always wanted to play in England and we have a good team. I think we can do good things this season."

Nuno played Neves 16 times at Porto last season, including in their 5-0 Champions League win over Leicester, while the midfielder also made three appearances for Portugal's Under-21 side at Euro 2017.

"Ruben is a very good player who can bring new things to our squad," said Nuno. "I know him well, I worked with him last year - he's a good player.

"When a player is captain of a big team like Porto in a Champions League game at such a young age, it means a lot.

"He was very pleased to come here, it's a good challenge for him."

Boly made five appearances for Porto last season after joining from Braga last August.

Former England international Ruddy is also set to sign after they made a late move to beat Sunderland to the goalkeeper.

Birmingham and Aston Villa were also interested in Ruddy, who earned one England cap against Italy in 2012.

Ruddy left Norwich this summer after seven years at Carrow Road and will join Wolves' pre-season trip to Austria with the club still dealing with Ikeme's diagnosis.

The 31-year-old goalkeeper is a popular member of the dressing room and will start treatment immediately.

Source: PA Source:

Source: Football.co.uk

Nottingham Forest sign four on deadline day

Generally in the football world it was a low-key January Deadline Day, but not in Nottingham. Nottingham Forest signed forwards Ross McCormack and Zach Clough and also added two midfielders, Joao Teixera and Gboly Ariyibi. McCormack and Teixeira joined on loan until the end of the season, whilst Clough and Ariyibi signed four-and-half-year and three-and-a-half-year deals respectively.

McCormack joins on loan from Aston Villa until the end of the season, following public criticism from his manager Steve Bruce. Whilst his work ethic and fitness levels have been questioned in recent times, there is no doubting McCormack’s ability. The Scotland international has been one of the most lethal strikers in the Championship in recent years and he will be hoping to rediscover his form at the City Ground.

He scored 21 goals in 45 league games in a struggling Fulham side last season which paved the way for a £12m move to Villa in the summer. In his last three seasons (one with Leeds, two with Fulham), McCormack has scored 66 goals in 135 league games.

Since joining Villa though he has managed just 3 goals in 20 games this season, not what the club would have expected given the large fee they spent on bringing him to the club.

Now 30 years of age, McCormack will be need to find form again to secure another big move, should he leave Villa in the summer. If not, bridges will need to be built with Steve Bruce before any return to Villa Park. This is course is dependent on whether Bruce is still at the club come the summer given the side’s struggles of late, after a good start under him. Should a new manager come in, a returning McCormack will probably be given a chance to prove his worth.

Joao Teixeira played 17 league games for Wolves earlier this season and will now see complete a full season in the Championship. Forest took over the loan deal from Wolves and they will hope he can add a vital creative spark.

Teixeira has played 80 games for Benfica B, but made just one appearance for the first team. That one appearance came in the Champions League, so he has played on the biggest stage in club football.

In addition, Teixeira has played five games for Vitoria Guimaraes on loan and also represented Portugal from under-15's all the way up to the under-21's.

The good news for Forest is that he already has the taste for English football so should settle in fairly quickly. Gary Brazil and his coaching staff will be hoping he can help supply his newly bolstered attack.

Forest finally got themselves a Clough. Zach joined for an undisclosed fee which has been reported to be around £2.5m. On the face of it looks a great bit of business for the 21-year old.

Clough who can also be used as an attacking midfielder, scored 21 goals in 58 games whilst at Bolton, which is impressive given the state of the club of late. Bolton were relegated from the Championship last season, but in his first two seasons with the club, Clough managed 12 goals in 36 games. His 5 goals in 8 games in the 2014/15 season was a great start to his senior career and Forest will be hoping he gets off to a similar start Trent-Side.

In League One this season, Clough was directly involved in 15 goals (9 goals, 6 assists) in 22 appearances. With Britt Assombalonga likely to keep his place in the side and McCormack joining, it wouldn’t be that unlikely to see Clough drop into that attacking midfield role or start games on the bench for the time being.

Either way he looks to be a great coup, for a club in desperate need of good news. Forest beat Rotherham 2-0 last night to move up to 18th in the table, and will be hoping Clough can help them continue climbing the table.

Ariyibi looks an interesting prospect.  Coming through the ranks at Southampton as a youngster he was in the same youth side as the likes of Luke Shaw and James Ward-Prowse, so the future looked bright for Aryibi. Unfortunately, Mauricio Pochettino decided to release him in 2013, before Leeds United took a chance on the young American.

Ariyibi made just two substitute appearances for Leeds in the 2013/14 season with his debut coming against Forest, alongside McCormack.

The USA Under-23 International was then sent on loan to Tranmere Rovers in March 2014 for the remainder of the season. He again played just two games whilst at Tranmere and he was subsequently released by Leeds in May that year.

In August 2014, Ariyibi signed a 12-month contract with League One side Chesterfield after reportedly turning down a move to Premier League side, Burnley. The winger obviously felt game time was important, making Chesterfield a more appealing prospect.

Given the fact that Leeds only gave him a deal until the end of the season and Chesterfield only committed to an initial 12-month contract (which was extended in March 2015 until this summer), it is perhaps a surprise that Forest have shown a lot more faith with a three-and-a-half-year deal.

Now with around 100 league games in English football under his belt, maybe the time was right though for a longer deal. The talent is clearly there as emphasised by Gary Caldwell when he first joined as manager of Chesterfield. He was quoted saying “I think [with] the talent he’s got he can be anything he wants to be”. “He’s got a great physique, just turned 22 and I’m really looking forward to working with him”.

He’s clearly got work to do, scoring just 4 goals so far in his career but given his age, time is most definitely on his side. Maybe the faith shown in him by a club like Forest will give him the motivation he needed to kick on and realise his potential.

Forest fans would have also been hoping for defensive reinforcements given the amount of goals shipped this season, however since Brazil has been placed in temporary charge the Reds’ have kept two clean sheets in three games. This matches the total amount kept during Phillipe Montanier’s 30-game reign. In the three games under Brazil, Forest have beat Bristol City and Rotherham at home, 1-0 and 2-0 respectively but suffered a 0-2 away defeat to Leeds.

The club did try to bring back former captain Luke Chambers from Ipswich Town, but could not get the deal across the line.

Deadline day for Forest has to be considered a great success especially amidst the negativity surrounding the club’s current ownership.

 

Wolves v Reading preview

Week two of the Championship sees Reading take on Wolves in their first away game of the season at Molineux.

The Royals kicked off their championship campaign with a superb 1-0 win over Preston at the Madjeski Stadium, with new signing John Swift scoring the winner.

That was followed by a comfortable 2-0 win over League 2 side Plymouth in the EFL cup, with new signings Joey Van Der Berg and Roy Beerens scoring their first goals in English football.

Reading will still be without new signing Joseph Mendes, with the game coming to soon for the striker who made the move from Le Harve in the summer.

While left back Jordan Obita is 50/50 for the game, following an injury picked up last Saturday.

Gareth McCleary and Paul McShane should be back, with the pair being rested for the EFL cup game during midweek.

Wolves began their campaign with 2-2 draw at Rotherham at the New York Stadium, despite going 2-0 and having Dominic Iofra sent off. Goals from new signing Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and George Saville rescuing a point their side.

This was followed by a 2-1 win over Crawley in the EFL cup in midweek, with goals from Joe Mason and Conor Coaday securing the win.

Dominic Iofra should be available having served a one match ban in midweek, with no further injury concerns.

It'll be an interesting game, with new Wolves manager Walter Zenga taking his first  home game in charge at Molineux, while Jaap Stam takes his first away game as Reading manager.

 

 

Championship Transfer Targets

The Premier League season has come to a close, with the most unlikely of winners Leicester City lifting the trophy for the first time in their 132 year history. This has given other teams the inspiration to push themselves up the division, and we will look at some of the players currently in the championship, who clubs may look at to help them follow in Leicester’s footsteps during the summer transfer window.

Maarten Stekelenburg - Fulham

The Dutch keeper was brought in by Southampton as cover for Fraser Forster last season, but now returns to his struggling parent club Fulham. However, his impressive form may well earn him a permanent deal with the Saints, as cover for their now fit number one Fraser Forster.

Fulham want to offload the former Dutch international due to his high wages, which could cause issues for the club under the financial fair play rules. Fulham are currently in talks with Southampton to try and make Stekelenburg’s loan deal a permanent one.

Stekelenburg was Holland’s number one keeper in their 2014 World Cup campaign where they were crowned third place finishers. He has played at the very top of the game so could therefore give Southampton or any other premier league club an experienced and reliable back up option in goal.

Dominic Iorfa - Wolves 

Brought in from Southend at the age 15, the right-back has had an excellent few seasons for Wolves since he came through the academy. Iorfa made his debut for Wolves at the age of 19 on December 6th against Bournemouth playing the full 90 minutes of the game.

Since then Iorfa has gone from strength to strength helping his side to 16 clean sheets this season and finishing with one assist, coming in the match against Bolton on February 2nd which ended in a 2-2 draw. This has led to many admirers from the Premier League with Crystal Palace and West Ham rumoured to be preparing bids for the England Under 21 international. However Wolves manager Kenny Jackett has issued a “hands off” warning to clubs wanting him.

Despite this, Iorfa could provide excellent long term cover for the clubs interested in securing his services, due to his lightning pace, strength and impressive dribbling abilities.

Oliver Norwood - Reading 

Signed from Huddersfield in the summer of 2014 for around £1 million, the former Manchester United academy player has had a very impressive season for the Royals scoring three goals and making twelve assists in all competitions, a solid figure for the central midfielder. Norwood has been one of the few bright sparks in what was a disappointing season for Reading.

As a result this has led to a number of Premier League clubs targeting him this summer, with the likes of Bournemouth and newly promoted Burnley both rumoured to be admirers of the Northern Ireland international, who will also be representing his country at the Euros in France this summer. It has also been recently reported in the Reading Chronicle that Norwood's agent has travelled to Hull for talks over a potential £1.5 million move to the Tigers.

Norwood possesses good passing abilities, both short and direct. He is also very good at keeping the ball, a skill that is very much needed to play in the top flight.  He has a habit for scoring memorable goals, most notably against Ipswich on September 11th, in front of the Sky cameras against Nottingham Forest.

Norwood has recently said that he is “flattered by Premier league interest”, meaning Reading may find it difficult to keep hold of him, should an offer come in.

Moussa Dembele - Fulham 

Signed by Fulham at the age of 16 in 2012, the French under 20 international has developed through their youth academy and this season has cemented himself as a first team regular with a very impressive campaign, netting 17 goals in all competitions, in what has been a very disappointing season for Fulham.

The striker is known for his excellent finishing and lightning pace, making it extremely difficult for any opposition defence to keep him off the scoresheet. This has caught the eye of many Premier League clubs, with teams like Manchester United and Liverpool to name a few lining up summer bids for him. Dembele has rejected a new contract offer from Fulham which would have quadrupled his current salary. His career with the club therefore looks to be coming to an end.

He has missed only three games for Fulham this season playing a combined 3,360 minutes, and is the clubs second highest scorer behind Scottish international Ross McCormack. At the age of just 19, he will improve further, making him a long term project for any club in the Premier League.

Zach Clough - Bolton 

Bolton Wanderers have had very little to smile about this season. Financial ruin left the club teetering on the edge of extinction, leading to relegation to league one. This has left many gaps in funding to be found. One of these may be 21 year old wonder-kid Zach Clough as the club may choose to cash in on the youngster to stabilise their finances.

He made 29 appearances for Bolton this season scoring 7 goals, making him their top scorer for the season. He possesses good finishing abilities and is able to roam around the attacking third, picking gaps in the opposition defence, allowing him to set up goal scoring chances.

Interest from Championship clubs is high with Leeds United and Bristol City interested, however rumours suggest that Everton are monitoring the striker, so a Premier League move could be on the cards. It is likely Clough will command a lower transfer fee, making him a low risk signing for most mid table Premier League sides.

 

By Jack Simpson with support from Jamie Woodhouse

 

 

Magic Jackett

On a fine spring Black Country day, those at Molineux witnessed not only unfamiliar conditions but a recently unfamiliar outcome. Wolverhampton Wanderers have been riding on a crest of a wave, crashing in results and performances that have swept Kenny Jackett's team to summit of League 1. Here they were looking to expand on the club's record breaking sequence of 9 consecutive wins and take any advantage that may present itself from the game between Leyton Orient and Brentford, the Black Country club's closest league rivals.

The day however, was to end in disappointment for the league leaders. In front of what was this season's 2nd largest Molineux crowd Shrewsbury Town frustrated their hosts, who showed none of the recent vibrancy, to the point that Jackett will no doubt view the result as another valuable point. Prior to kick off there was a warm welcome back to Molineux for the man who oversaw what is probably the most transformative period in Wolverhampton Wanderers history. Graham Turner managed the club from 1986 to 1994, a period in which he took training in the Molineux car park and a racecourse, as well as Wolves to a Wembley victory.

It was Turner who rejuvenated the club. Stealing Steve Bull, Andy Thompson and Robbie Dennison from West Brom, all of whom figured heavily in the clubs meteoric rise from the doldrums of English football’s 4th Division, to within touching distance of the top tier. And there are some comparisons to be made here with Wolves’ current plight.

At the start of the season many had Wolves as nailed on promotion favourites. With a large squad, swollen with talent and experienced professionals, a sure financial footing and the added benefit of a further Premier League parachute payment, who could argue? On the face of it, it didn’t seem fair.

However like Turner, Jackett took the helm at a club in crisis. Successive relegations and a litany of misguided decisions made by the Molineux hierarchy meant that this wasn’t to be the stroll in the park that most outside of Wolverhampton would assume.  Instead some foresaw Wolves on the precipice of a further disaster and a prolonged spell outside of English football’s top 2 tiers.

But Jackett dealt with the issues early on, in a calm and considered approach, reminiscent of his predecessor Turner, but not without grit and steel. His eyes were clearly wide open when accepting the role at Wolves. Almost his first action was to banish some of the club main assets to training away from the 1st team. These players were identified by Jackett as having no part to play in his Wolves. It was a bold move to turn his back on what some saw as the pernicious presence of Johnson, Henry, O’Hara and Ward but he managed the situation in a faultlessly even handed manner, never apportioning blame. It was just the next step. Others moved on Tongo Doumbia to Valenciennes (on loan), Steven Hunt, Christophe Berra, Adam Hammill, Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

Whilst moving players on he also began to bring fresh faces in. Golbourne from Barnsley, McDonald from Sheffield United, Leigh Griffiths was dragged away from a Scottish loan posting for the first time in his Wolves career and Sam Ricketts arrived from Bolton. Some of the old Molineux guard remained, clearly those that Jackett felt he could rely on, in Stearman, Sako, Elokobi, Foley, Hennesey and most surprisingly Kevin Doyle. However the fact that only two of those remain as first choice players in March, shows the extent to which Jackett has made this team his own.

He also looked to the club’s academy, much overlooked in the past, for answers. There he found first teamers in waiting in Danny Batth and Jack Price. Also Evans, Ebanks-Landell and Doherty would get their opportunities as would McCary, McAllindon and Cassidy although to a lesser extent.

The malicious fug of spite that had hung over the club, the board, the players and the fans was beginning to clear. It seems to me this is almost entirely down to Kenny Jackett. Maybe the board deserve some credit for what at the time seemed an understated and if truth be told, underwhelming appointment. Probably that was exactly what was needed. Kenny Jackett was, it seems, exactly what was needed.

What has happened since has seen a renewed sense of belief flourishing from those who follow Wolverhampton Wanderers. Obviously League 1 is not where the fans want to be, but top is top and besides the grimness of the journey down, they seem to be enjoying this seasons ride with bumper away attendances all over the country. This is doubtless helped by the style of the football being played, not always a Wolverhampton speciality, which in some reckoning is some of the best since the 70s.

McDonald, Jacobs, Henry, Price, Batth, Sako and Dicko have all stood out at times this season. These, with the exception of Sako, are Jacketts men. But this Wolves is built on a strong and positive collective spirit and an honesty that the fans can relate to. Just as they did with Bull, Mutch, Dennison, Downing et al in Turner’s day.

So Jackett takes his Wolves to Crawley on Tuesday for a rearranged fixture looking to get back to winning ways in what is the final stretch of the season. Whatever the result on Tuesday at Broadfield, Wolves should have enough to gain an automatic promotion place, although it won’t be easy and Orient and Brentford seem certain to push them all the way.

If Wolves do gain promotion this season, Jackett rightly will deserve a large slice of the credit. The way he’s artfully brought players in, shipped players out, utilised the academy and developed his team into an effective, talented and stylish team, all whilst handling the famous Molineux expectation is admirable. Despite their pre-season billing as champions elect and Jackett’s effortless, unflappable demeanour, being in the Wolves hot seat is never an easy ride.

Karl Henry set for QPR medical

Wolves midfielder Karl Henry is close to completing a move to Championship side Queens Park Rangers.

A medical is in place for tomorrow and if all goes well then the 30 year old will soon be another signing for Harry Redknapp.

Henry was part of the double relegated Wolves side who now are placed in League 1. The midfielder, has played 244 games for the midlands side, scoring 6 goals in that period.

He will be the third signing this summer for Queens Park Rangers, with Richard Dunne and Danny Simpson already signed.

Dean Saunders the new Wolves Manager

It has just been confirmed by Doncaster Rovers Chairman John Ryan, that current Manager Dean Saunders is to leave the club and become the new Manager of Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The former Wrexham Manager has produced wonders at The Keepmoat stadium, by guiding the club into 2nd in the League 1 table, level on points with leaders Tranmere Rovers, since suffering relegation from the Championship last season.

They also have one of the best away records in England, with the club recording 9 wins from 13 away games this season which has helped propel the club into the automatic promotion spots.

Saunders travelled to Molineux today to finalise personal terms, and the compesation package between the clubs is set to be agreed within the next hour.

The announcement of his official confirmation as Stale Solbakken's replacement looks set to commence either this evening or tomorrow morning

Rob Jones and Brian Flynn will take caretaker charge of Rovers for the forseeable future until a replacement is found