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Nuno drops contract hint on Wolves maestro Moutinho

Wolves midfielder Joao Moutinho looks set to win a new deal after Nuno Espirito Santo dropped a contract hint.

The Portugal international, 33, is out of contract at the end of June next year but has been instrumental in Wolves’ success since returning to the Premier League.

Talks have been ongoing and the playmaker is expected to put pen to paper on a two-year extension soon.

Everything is OK and I hope so,” said Wolves head coach Nuno when asked if the midfielder will earn a new contract at Friday’s pre-match press conference ahead of the game at Bournemouth on Saturday.

Everything has its time. It’s a question of getting an understanding and everything is natural.”

Moutinho helped Wolves to finish seventh last season and qualify for Europe for the first time in 39 years and reach their first FA Cup semi-final for 21 years.

Nuno has been delighted by the impact of the former Sporting and Monaco midfielder, who has won 120 caps for Portugal and won Euro 2016.

He’s been very good. Joao is a different player; he’s an experienced player, a European champion so he gives a lot of things to the team,” said Nuno. “One of those is experience, but quality and talent as well.”

Moutinho has been described as the best Wolves player since Peter Knowles by many and is still wowing fans with his performances.

Wolves legend Kenny Hibbitt knows a bit about playing midfield and has watched a lot of Moutinho since the Portugal international signed for £5m from Monaco in July 2018.

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,” said the former midfielder. “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 been an ever present in the Premier League since his arrival. Hibbitt believes the former Porto man will have a similar impact off the pitch as well.

He will also 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 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.”