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Mendes key to Podence deal as Wolves edge closer to agreeing fee

Wolves anticipate reaching agreement soon on the signing of Olympiakos winger Daniel Podence.

It’s understood Wolves initially offered around £15.3m (18m euros) for the 24-year-old forward, with the Greek Superleague club believed to be holding out for £21.5m (25m euros).

But with the player’s agent Jorge Mendes having such a close relationship with Wolves and time on their side to complete the deal, it’s understood a deal will be struck somewhere between the two figures.

Podence would become Olympiakos’s record sale, and Wolves’ second most expensive signing in their history after £33m Raul Jimenez, eclipsing the £18m they paid for Adama Traore and Jonny in August 2018 and January 2019 respectively.

The former Portugal Under-21s international has not been included in Olympiakos’s squad for their Greek Superleague trip to OFI Crete on Wednesday.

AEK Athens’ former Norwich striker Nelson Oliveira, 28, is set to cost Wolves around £6m. The two targets would bring Wolves’ Portuguese quota up to 10 players, with Rui Patricio, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Diogo Jota, Pedro Neto, Ruben Vinagre, plus Under-23s pair Bruno Jordao and Flavio Cristavao.

Podence, who scored against Tottenham in the Champions League in September, is a former Sporting team-mate of Patricio after starting his career with the Lisbon club and playing 25 times there, winning the Portuguese Cup in 2014-15 and the Portuguese League Cup in 2017-18. He would add competition to Jota, Neto and Adama Traore in the wide forward areas. 

Oliveira is no stranger to British football, having had spells with Norwich, where he scored 19 goals in 65 league games from 2016-19, plus Nottingham Forest, Reading and Swansea on loan.

The Portuguese attacker has found some real scoring form this season, with nine goals in 15 Superleague games for AEK. He will compete with 19-goal top scorer Jimenez for a place.

Wolves are desperate to strengthen their forward line, with Jimenez having played in virtually every game with no senior back-up after parting company with Patrick Cutrone to Fiorentina, and Diogo Jota out with a calf injury.

They wanted Hwang Hee-Chan but were forced to adjust their sights with Red Bull Salzburg unwilling to sell this month after losing Erling Haaland to Borussia Dortmund and Takumi Minamino to Liverpool.