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No formal talks on Wolves deal for Moutinho – yet

Wolves have yet to enter into formal contract talks with Joao Moutinho.
The 33-year-old midfielder is into the final year of his current two-year deal, which expires at the end of June.
Informal discussions have taken place with the Portugal international and the club are aware Moutinho’s future is a priority, given his form, profile and likely interest in him. But no meeting with the player’s agent has been arranged as yet to discuss a deal.
Reports last week suggested an agreement could be as close as 10 days away, but understands that is premature.
Wolves have been hugely impressed by the midfielder’s contribution both on and off the pitch since he signed from Monaco in July 2018, while many supporters claim he is the best player they have seen in gold and black.
On the field, he has shown leadership, an ability to control games and impressive statistics, with nine assists in 44 Premier League games so far. Off the pitch, the club have been hugely impressed with Moutinho’s humility and professionalism with the way he conducts himself as a shining example to the players around him.
Moutinho has previously said he would like to play until he is 40 and he has shown no signs of letting up, taking part in every Premier League game and Europa League tie since his arrival.
Wolves legend Kenny Hibbitt has watched a lot of Moutinho since he joined the club. Hibbitt believes Moutinho, who is Wolves’ highest paid player, has earned an extension to his two-year contract.
“I definitely would offer him a new deal because you can’t beat experience,” the former midfielder told earlier this month. “From my point of view, you don’t get rid of players who are still giving performances like he is.
“He can control a game because he reads it so well, he’s very comfortable on the ball, he very rarely gives it away, he starts things off and he still gets around the pitch very well. He’s also very consistent – Nuno knows what he’s going to get from him, and even if he only gets 70 minutes out of him, it will be worth it because of what he can do.”
Moutinho has featured in all league and cup games so far this term, though he is expected to be excused duty in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup third round tie at home to Reading. Hibbitt believes the former Porto man has a similar impact off the pitch as he has on it.
“He will have a big influence in the dressing room,” he said. “If he can use that to help the younger players to achieve a similar standard then he is worth every penny, because to have a good dressing room, you need good, senior pros helping the younger players on and off the pitch, like Mike Bailey and Derek Dougan did for us.”
Hibbitt feels Nuno must continue keep the right blend of players so Moutinho can flourish. “Moutinho has good players around him who will help him and he needs that to help him do what he can do,” he added. “He’s playing for a successful team and if that’s the case, it doesn’t matter what age you are, they will help him through, along with his own passion, desire and commitment. But if he hasn’t got good young players around him, that’s when you can struggle as an experienced player.
“I went to Bristol Rovers after Coventry at the end of my career and it was a struggling side. The ball was getting knocked over my head, I would chase it and it would be knocked over my head the other way and I ended up with a stiff neck!
“I wasn’t getting the balls that I got when I was playing for a top club. If you’re running around not getting a kick, it doesn’t half make life difficult.
“Steve Daley went to Manchester City and within days they had sold four internationals and so he struggled, but he needed those internationals around him so he could play the way he could.
“I don’t know what will happen with Moutinho but I’m sure Nuno will make the right call.”