Gary O’Neil has said he expects Matheus Nunes to remain at Wolves beyond Friday’s transfer deadline day with Manchester City yet to lodge an improved offer for the Portugal international, who has stopped training in a bid to force through a move.
City last week saw a £47million bid rejected for the 25-year-old, who moved to Molineux for a club-record £38million last summer, and O’Neil said the champions were yet to return with a better offer.
“He’s not with the group at the moment, his choice,” O’Neil said. “After the bid from Manchester City he decided it was best for him to not to be with the group. Club policy and how we deal with things like that is set in place.
“As far as I’m aware there’s been no improved bid. Matheus Nunes is still our player, we have a long contract still with him and at this moment I fully expect him to be here come September 2.
“The next few days will be key of course and conversations will take place that will be private between me and Matheus and I’m sure the situation will be resolved.”
Speaking after watching a much-changed Wolves line-up brush aside League One Blackpool 5-0 to reach the third round of the Carabao Cup, O’Neil stopped short of criticising Nunes’ actions, saying he first needed to speak to the player.
“You never need (to stop training) but players do,” he said. “You’ve seen it all over the country, I’ve seen it when I was playing, we’ve seen it in recent transfer windows, I can think of one in January, and it won’t change how the club deals with any bids or any situation.
“He definitely didn’t (need to) and there is a way to deal with these things but I’ll keep most of my thoughts private for when I speak with Matheus.
“I will speak to him and there will be advisors and representatives and there’s a lot of things that go on – it’s too simplistic to say ‘he’s done this and we think that’. There’s a lot involved in situations like this.
“For me to try and answer in a press conference without Matheus for me to speak to about it and understand exactly where everything is is probably unfair…I’ll save my opinions until after I’ve spoken to him.”
Asked how easily Nunes would be reintegrated into the squad should he stay at Molineux, O’Neil said: “The conversation and our understanding of the situation will be the deciding factor. At this moment I don’t have enough information to make an accurate decision on it.”
Regardless of how the situation with Nunes plays out, Wolves go into the final few days of the transfer window with work to do. Daniel Podence is out of favour and seemingly on his way out, while Goncalo Guedes has returned to Benfica on loan – a move which frees up space on the wage bill.
“I’m excited because I’m still convinced that on September 2 the squad will be in a better place than it was last week,” O’Neil added. “I’m excited for the next few days…
“Does that mean there’s going to be loads of players arriving? Possibly, possibly not. But we’re as well prepared as we can be for the end of a transfer window where things can move quickly.”
Wolves saw off Blackpool with a brace from Matt Doherty, and goals from Sasa Kalajdzic, Fabio Silva, and debutant Nathan Fraser, leaving the Seasiders without a win or a goal in five matches.
📽️ Neil Critchley shares his thoughts on tonight's match over on Tangerine TV.
— Blackpool FC (@BlackpoolFC) August 29, 2023
“It was a difficult night against really good players, a good team,” Blackpool boss Neil Critchley said.
“Everything just seems to be going against us a little bit…But I can’t fault the players in the way they went about the game and they went after it.”