Manchester City have submitted an improved £52million offer for Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes as they target a late flurry of transfer activity.
The reigning Premier League champions eventually found a way past Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday – even without Pep Guardiola staunching the touchline – but look short of midfield reinforcements.
City had a £47m offer for the Portugal international rejected by Wolves last week but have returned with a new bid that they hope will be accepted.
Nunes wasn’t part of the Wolves squad that earned a hard-fought win over Everton at the weekend as he served a suspension after being sent off in a previous defeat against Brighton.
However, the 25-year-old could find himself never donning the striking yellow shirt of Wolves again as City attempt to try and convince the Midlands-based club into selling one of their star players.
Manchester City have submitted an improved £52m offer for Wolves star Matheus Nunes
Nunes (right) is being chased by City as the club look to reinforce their midfield options
Wolves hold interest in City academy duo James McAtee and Tommy Doyle but neither will be included as options in any deal for Nunes with those discussions being kept separate.
Nunes still has four-years with the option of a further year remaining on his existing contract at Wolves after joining for a then-club-record £38million fee from Sporting Lisbon last year.
The contract situation places Wolves in a strong bargaining position and first-team manager Gary O’Neil stressed the club won’t sell if their valuation isn’t met.
‘He’s an important player for us who has four or five years left on his contract, but we rejected a bid because we didn’t feel it met our valuation of what Matheus is worth to us,’ O’Neil told a pre-match press conference recently.
City boss Pep Guardiola (pictured) is a big admirer of the Portugal international
Wolves manager Gary O’Neil previously stated the club won’t sell unless their valuation is met
‘I don’t know the details of the bid and where it’s at, but all I know is that our valuation of Matheus wasn’t met. I’m head coach. I coach the team and the players who are available, and Matheus isn’t available this weekend.’
Kevin De Bruyne’s serious injury, coupled with the departure of Ilkay Gundogan to Barcelona this summer, has left the Treble winners in need of another midfielder.
City boss Guardiola is a big admirer of Nunes and previously lavished him with praise facing Sporting in the Champions League a year ago before he then made the switch to Molineux.
However, City are cautious of being goaded into paying over-the-odds for the star and will walks away from the deal if they feel there is a risk of that happening.