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Cav set to leave Wolves to join Fulham on loan

Ivan Cavaleiro is set to leave Wolves for Fulham on a season-long loan with a view to a £12m permanent transfer.

The Cottagers have beaten off competition from fellow relegated club Huddersfield and play-off finalists Derby for the Portuguese’s signature. The 25-year-old was made available for loan or transfer this summer by head coach Nuno Espirito Santo, a decision which quickly sparked no shortage of interest from elsewhere.

As reported by on May 22, Cavaleiro has long been a target of the Cottagers. He was first linked with a move there last summer. Now the move is set to go through and he will follow Leeds signing Helder Costa back to the Championship.

Cavaleiro will travel to West London for talks rather than board the plane to China with the rest of Wolves’ squad this weekend. His departure leaves Wolves desperately short of options in the forward positions after Costa departed. Diogo Jota is now the only experienced, recognised attacker on the trip, with Raul Jimenez on his break to July 22 and the back-up provided by youngster Niall Ennis and the untried Theo Corbeanu, though Adama Traore can play up front.

Cavaliero scored with his first touch in the Premier League when he netted the first in the 2-0 home win over Southampton on Septemeber 29. But he made only six starts in the league for Wolves in 2018-19, with a further 17 appearances off the bench and a total of three goals.

He scored 19 goals in 106 games in all competitions since joining Wolves for a then club joint record £7m in August 2016 from Monaco. He was the first big money signing under Fosun’s ownership – signing a five-year contract on the same day as the return of Richard Stearman on loan from Fulham – and helped them win the Championship title in 2017-18, netting nine times in 42 games.

But he struggled for regular action in the second half of last season, making just six starts in the top flight with another 17 appearances off the bench, scoring three goals. He added another two strikes in the FA Cup run to the semi-finals, where he missed a golden chance against Watford at Wembley.

After January 2, Cavaleiro made just one Premier League start, in the 2-0 defeat at Burnley, and, like the now departed Helder Costa, was a victim of the successful switch from 3-4-3 to 3-5-2, which suited Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota so well.