Julen Lopetegui

New Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui will have a full month to work on the training ground and in the offices before he gets started with matches at Molineux. Already the Basque manager is looking back at La Liga in order to strengthen his squad in the winter window though.

According to Caught Offside, he is interested in Real Valladolid’s Javi Sanchez. The 25-year-old central defender came through at Real Madrid and has been at Valladolid on loan and then permanently since 2019. Sanchez has been an ever-present for Pacheta this season, starting 11 of their 12 matches and playing a key role in their impressive start to the season.

Gol Digital say that Valladolid owner Ronaldo Nazario would likely accept an offer of around €8m for Sanchez, although his release clause is €25m. He moved from Real Madrid for €2.5m, but Los Blancos will receive 50% of any sale.

Lopetegui knows Sanchez from his time coaching in the Spain youth ranks when Sanchez was once called up for the under 19 side, while also crossing paths with him during his brief time at Real Madrid.

If the potential fee is accurate, then the deal would make absolute sense for Wolves. Even if it does not work out, few potential Premier League central defenders are available for so little. At 25, Sanchez is probably at the prime age to be bought as a central defender and his physically imposing stature should help him settle into English football easily.

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