Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Julen Lopetegui has issued a ‘hands-off’ warning to Liverpool amid transfer speculation surrounding Matheus Nunes. The Portuguese midfielder, who was targetted by the Reds in the summer before Wolves snapped him up, has been one of the club’s better players since Lopetegui took to the Molineux dugout.
Taking up a slightly deeper role in the Wanderers’ narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday, Nunes displayed plenty of desire to take control of proceedings in the middle of the park. He was successful in doing that for the most part as Wolves put on an impressive display and were unfortunate to lose the game.
The Telegraph reports that Liverpool are ‘exploring a deal’ to buy Nunes “as per an agreement last summer when the Portugual international was close to signing for the Anfield club”. Despite missing out on the 24-year-old’s signature in a £38 million deal that fell through, it appears Jurgen Klopp’s side are ready to come back in with a new offer.
Quizzed about the rumours emerging, Lopetegui delivered a short but sweet answer as he said: “We can say that Matheus is our player. He’s a Wolves player and he’s so happy here.” The former Real Madrid head coach certainly did not beat around the bush as he answered with confidence, though a big enough offer from Liverpool could always tempt the Molineux side.
Nunes would not actually be able to play in the Premier League for Liverpool this season if he were to join in January, as FIFA rules state a player cannot feature competitively for more than two sides in a single campaign. The Portuguese has already had minutes with both Wolves and Sporting Lisbon throughout 2022/23 but he could still make a switch to Anfield in the summer.
The Wolves man is yet to score in the Premier League and has registered just one assist for his new club, though he has been unable to put together a consistent run of minutes for a while. Nunes’ performance against United could propel him to become a key player under Lopetegui if he is to stay.