Nuno Espirito Santo says he’s had no contact with Wolves over a contract extension and hasn’t thought about a new deal – but says the club is his ‘obsession’.
The Molineux head coach has 16 months left on his three-year deal he extended by a year in 2018 to run to 2021.
Clubs keen to keep players or their manager often negotiate new deals when they enter their final 18 months.
Nuno, who it’s understood earns an estimated £3m a year, says there have been no discussions over any further extension to stay at the club he has helped transform over the last two and a half years.
Recently, Premier League counterparts Brendan Rodgers at Friday’s Molineux opponents Leicester, Aston Villa manager Dean Smith and Chris Wilder at Sheffield United have all signed long-term extensions.
Asked if Wolves fans should be concerned that he hasn’t signed a new contract, Nuno said: “They haven’t (offered)…I didn’t have any proposal. There was no proposal on that. That’s my job (to recommend deals for players). I don’t sign (sanction) my own contract, you know what I mean?”
When Nuno was asked if he would be interested in signing new terms, he added: “I have one more year of contract. I don’t think about that.”
Nuno has been linked with several big posts elsewhere after the hugely impressive job he has done at Wolves.
The former Porto and Valencia coach led Wolves to the Championship title in his first season then finished seventh – the club’s highest position in 39 years since sixth in 1979-80, reached the FA Cup semi-finals and qualified for the Europa League, where they are now in the group of 32.
It’s understood he turned down approaches from Arsenal and Everton after leading Wolves to promotion in 2018, then he was linked with the Gunners again when Unai Emery was sacked last November, while he was under consideration by Chelsea when they parted company with Maurizio Sarri before they appointed Frank Lampard in the summer.
But the Portuguese re-assured fans his commitment to Wolves is total and the club is his life.
“They (the fans) can be totally assured every day, Wolves is my obsession, I don’t think about anything else,” he said.
“That’s why I say it’s my life. I’m 100 per cent here and give everything I have to help my players and improve the club, doing everything I can.
“I signed last season – I renewed for one more year and I have one more year in my contract, and this is what is more important. When you sign something you stick to it or you don’t.
“I’m happy with the group of players, the way we work. Yes, I’m settled.
“We started three seasons ago, not only me but a lot of people moved and changed their lives to come to Wolverhampton.
“Players come with us since day one, that’s why I say it’s my life because I’m 100 per cent here and I give everything I have to help improve the players and help the club.
“Then we’ll see but I’m only focused on tomorrow (Leicester game). We signed it (previous extension) and we are committed to it.”
Wolves have parted company with two senior management figures since July in managing director Laurie Dalrymple and sporting director Kevin Thelwell, who departed soon after the January transfer window.
Neither has been replaced, with Dalrymple’s duties shared between chairman Jeff Shi and head of marketing Russell Jones, while the club are seeking a replacement for Thelwell and hope to appoint before the end of the season.
Super agent Jorge Mendes is a key figure in Wolves’ recruitment. Nuno was his first client and up to 10 of the first-team squad are represented by him, while his company, Gestifute, is 20 per cent owned by Wolves owners Fosun.
It seems highly unlikely Nuno or any Mendes clients would be tempted away – provided their ambition continues to be matched by the Chinese owners.
Asked how important it is for the club to show commitment to him through continued investment in the squad, Nuno said: “It’s teamwork – it’s not a part of the club, it’s the way we’re doing things, the decisions we’re making, and we make them together.
“It’s not about the club convincing me or how they treat me – it’s about working together and making the right decisions.
“The most important thing is to improve players, because we have a very young squad.
“The future I think can be better for us as long as we keep the same philosophy, working day by day and together as a unit.”