Wolves swiftly rejected Manchester City’s opening offer of £47m for Matheus Nunes but are braced for the Premier League champions to intensify their interest.
Pep Guardiola is a big admirer of the Portugal midfielder and previously described him as “one of the best players in the world”. Guardiola wants to sign a midfielder after losing Kevin De Bruyne for around four months after hamstring surgery. Wolves would only consider a substantial bid.
City had been pushing to complete a deal for Lucas Paqueta but had to look elsewhere after the West Ham midfielder became the subject of a Football Association investigation over alleged betting breaches.
Nunes, who became Wolves £42m record signing from Sporting last summer, will miss Saturday’s trip to Everton after being sent off in the 4-1 defeat against Brighton last weekend.
City, who have also been tracking Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze, are keen on wrapping up a quick deal and personal terms have already been agreed with Nunes. The Portuguese, who turns 25 on Sunday, is understood to be keen on the move.
Meanwhile, City are close to announcing the arrival of the Belgium winger Jeremy Doku from Rennes. Doku is a replacement for Riyad Mahrez, who joined Al-Ahli last month.