Matt Doherty has already told Wolves his requirements to complete free transfer amid ‘never’ admission
Matt Doherty has already told Wolves what they may need to do in order to sign him this summer.
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Things haven’t worked out for Doherty since leaving Wolves for Tottenham in 2020, with the wing-back going on to fail in his bid to make an impression at Tottenham. A surprise move to Atletico Madrid followed, with the Irishman selected to replace Kieran Tierney, but things went even worse for the 31-year-old in the Spanish capital.
Doherty made just two La Liga appearances for Atletico after signing a short-term deal for last season, and he was released at the end of last season.
The wing-back is now being linked with a return to Wolves, with TeamTalk claiming Julen Lopetegui is keen to sign the full-back as he continues to put his own stamp on his squad. Doherty is, of course, available on a free transfer, and he may well prioritise a move to Molineux given it is where he played his best football.
Though, it’s clear he is a player who likes to be rewarded for his talent, at least going off an interview he did with the Irish Independent in October of last year.
“When you go on in your career, you want to be valued,” he said. “You don’t want to be ripped off with anything, just like in life. And you want your abilities to be valued. Whatever the going rate for that is, then that’s what it is. If you’re able to get a bit more, you work a bit harder. Nobody sits down and says, ‘Here’s a load of money.’ That’s why everything is structured, you build your way up and eventually fall into where you’re meant to be.”
Wolves will need to make a solid offer, it seems, but why did Doherty leave the Midlands club in the first place? Asked whether it was about money, Doherty added: “Yeah, it’s easy to say that. That is a part of it also and it is part of the industry.
“If someone is here [Doherty places his hand at medium height], then they want to get to here [raising hand to a higher level]. But first of all, José [Mourinho] was the manager and it would’ve been silly to say no to him. And he really wanted me. He told me that I was his number one choice to come in. He even said to me that if the chairman came to him and said that he could only have one signing in the summer, I was the only one he wanted. So who would say no to that?
“Spurs are a huge club, the training ground, the stadium, possibly fighting for Champions League football. I had run my course at Wolves. I wanted to try and leave that summer anyway, whether it was Tottenham or not. I had been there for so long and would have regretted staying any longer. Every player is different.
“Even when things were not going well [at Tottenham], I still didn’t regret it. I was happy to make the step. It’s a bit of an ego thing also, isn’t it? You want to say that you’ve played for a top team. Tottenham choose 11 players every week, who are all top players, and you are one of those players. That gives you a good feeling.
“My dad didn’t love the move for me. He would probably have had me stay at Wolves, but how could I say no? I probably could’ve gone back to Wolves and said, ‘Give me a second contract’, but I didn’t want to do that. And I saw stuff saying about going back in the January window, but I didn’t want to do that either. I had a great time at Wolves, but I think if I went back ... you should never really go back…”