Patrick Cutrone looks set to leave Wolves after being left out of their squad for the FA Cup third round tie against Manchester United.
It’s understood the 22-year-old has returned to Italy to join an un-named club on loan for the rest of the season with a view to a permanent deal. Cutrone is not in the 18-man squad to play United and Benny Ashley-Seal has been given his first senior start.
Cutrone has been heavily linked with a move back to Italy with Fiorentina. But up until the last 24 hours, Wolves have had no contact with the Serie A club.
Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo suggested he will be more patient with the striker because he is a permanent signing – and had hinted he could play against United.
“He’s our player. He’s here with us,” said Nuno. “All the things that come out, it’s you or Italian newspapers that put them out, not us.
“He’s here, he’s training with us. Let’s see…tomorrow (Saturday), for example, he is an option.
“As long as you are in the squad and fit, you are an option.”
Only at his press conference on Friday, Nuno admitted he wished he could give Cutrone more time to prove himself at Molineux.
It’s understood the club have been keen to keep faith with the Italy Under-21s striker after splashing out an initial £16m to AC Milan in the summer.
The 22-year-old has played just 13 minutes’ Premier League football in two months as he has been forced to play second fiddle to Raul Jimenez, Adama Traore, Diogo Jota and now Pedro Neto.
In total, the former AC Milan striker has scored three times in 24 appearances for Wolves, but has made just three starts in the Premier League, and only nine starts in all.
Asked if Cutrone would be leaving this month, head coach Nuno said: “We’ll have to wait and see.
“Cutrone has had, I believe in the beginning of the season, five games in a row.
“He had a lot of moments. They are the chances you will gain.
“But every player needs to compete at the right moments, when we decide it is the right moment for him to compete.”
Asked if he could give Cutrone the game time needed, Nuno admitted: “I wish I could give him more. But the competition is so hard that you sometimes you just don’t look at that aspect – you want to be ‘there’, unfortunately for him.
“But fortunately for us I think we made a lot of good decisions and achieved a lot of good things.”
Nuno has cut short Jesus Vallejo’s season-long loan so he will rejoin Real Madrid with a view to getting more first-team football elsewhere on loan.