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Nuno on Chelsea link: I have ‘total dedication’ to Wolves

Nuno Espirito Santo insists he has ‘total dedication’ to his task at Wolves and claimed he has had no interest from Chelsea.

The Molineux head coach however sidestepped questions on his long-term future after being linked as a possible successor to Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri, who is under pressure to keep his job at Stamford Bridge.

The 45-year-old Portuguese’s star is rising after steering Wolves to the Championship title before helping them to seventh position and the FA Cup semi-finals this year.

Nuno, who has previously led Porto and Valencia into the Champions League, has turned down approaches from Arsenal and Everton since being appointed at Molineux in May 2017.

He was linked to the Chelsea position last week with Frank Lampard, the Stamford Bridge legend currently managing Championship side Derby.

Asked if he is happy at Wolves and in his job, Nuno answered: “I consider myself a happy person, yes.

Yes (I am happy in my job), with the problems and difficulties involved, but at the same time it is a moment of joy, especially.

I have total dedication to what I must do and what we must do to keep on becoming better and growing. I am focused.”

Nuno, who takes Wolves to Burnley tomorrow, said he was unaware of any interest from Chelsea.

Regarding his longer term future, he would only say: “I am going to be tomorrow at the game, for sure.”

Sarri has been undermined by his fallout with Kepa Arrizabalaga after the goalkeeper’s refusal to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City.

The Italian’s tenure has been weakened by Chelsea sitting sixth, three points below fourth-placed Arsenal in the race for the final Champions League spot.

But even if Chelsea have made overtures to Nuno, who signed an improved three-year contract last summer, there is no guarantee he would swap his hero status at Molineux for the Kings Road.

Chelsea are banned from buying players for the next two transfer windows, and at a time when owner Roman Abramovich is trying to sell the club and can’t get into the country.

The delay in renewing Abramovich’s investor visa came to light at a time of increased diplomatic tensions between London and Moscow, in the wake of the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury. Reports suggest it expired last May.

Changes to the visa process, which came into force in 2015, mean applicants may be required to prove the origins of their wealth.

Meanwhile, Nuno claims all the relevant parties still need to be in agreement to activate a permanent deal for Raul Jimenez, Wolves’ 15-goal top scorer, when his season-long loan from Benfica expires.

We are very happy with Raul. But the right moment will be the moment that will involve all the parts,” said Nuno.