Conor Coady insists Ruben Vinagre needs to stay at Wolves for ‘many years’ rather than have his head turned by Barcelona and Liverpool.
The highly-rated left wing back, who only signed a five-year contract last summer, has been linked to the Reds and the Catalan giants after struggling to secure a regular starting place in Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
The Portugal Under-20 international impressed coming off the bench in the second half of the 0-0 draw against Brighton but has found starts hard to come by because of the form of Jonny and Matt Doherty in the wing back positions.
But Coady feels the 20-year-old, who has made 19 appearances this season of which seven have been Premier League starts, just needs to bide his time because he is part of the long-term future at Molineux.
“We like him. As long as he stays here for as many years as possible, we don’t really look at things like that (speculation),” said Coady.
“He’s a fantastic footballer, he’s such a young player and yet he’s got such a bright future ahead of him.
“Everybody probably thinks the best place for him is here so hopefully that is the case because he’s a fantastic footballer and he can stay here for many years.”
Vinagre arrived in a £2m permanent move from Monaco last summer after spending last season on loan at Wolves, making 13 appearances in all competitions.
He was a team-mate of Joao Moutinho’s in Monte Carlo and the pair have remained close friends.
Coady feels the youngster is a threat Wolves can rely on whether he starts games or I coming off the bench.
“You know what Vinagre is going to bring to the team – he’s lively and energetic,” said the captain.
“He’s a young lad but with a really mature head on his shoulders. When he attacks players he gets past them and gets the ball in the box.
“We know we can rely on him at any time but that’s the same for anyone coming on.
“We have got those options coming off the bench – you saw it with him and with Adama Traore and we have Ivan Cavaleiro and Helder Costa on the bench as well.”
Sporting director Kevin Thelwell believes Vinagre is part of Wolves’ long-term plans.
“Ruben is a hugely exciting prospect, and we are really looking forward to him developing further under Nuno’s tutelage,” said Thelwell after the youngster signed his permanent deal last summer.
Vinagre was a professional for three years at Monaco after arriving as a youth player from Sporting CP, but didn’t break through to their first team.