Wolves have agreed a deal ‘in principle’ to sign Sporting CP midfielder João Palhinha for a fee well below his release clause, according to a report.
The Sporting youth product has spent the last two seasons on loan at Braga, featuring twice against Wolves in the Europa League earlier in the season.
The move would see Palhinha link up with the strong Portuguese contingent already working under compatriot Nuno Espirito Santo at Molineux.
The report states that the eventual deal could set Wolves back €15m – quite the reduction on his €60m release clause in his contract, which runs at Sporting until 2022.
The Wolves boss has been keeping tabs on Palhinha for some time, and should the deal be confirmed, the 24-year-old will become the fifth member of Nuno’s squad to have progressed through the Lisbon club’s academy.
Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho, Daniel Podence and Ruben Vinagre are all also products of the Sporting youth system.
Palhinha joined the Sporting academy in 2012, aged 17, but most of his senior career has been spent out on loan.
The midfielder has made 16 first team appearances for the club either side of loan spells at Moreirense, Belenenses and currently Braga.
Palhinha has become a regular since his switch to Sporting’s Primeira Liga rivals, featuring 29 times in all competitions this season, and chipping in with three goals.
However, it is the defensive side of his game that the Portuguese midfielder is renowned for, with his ability to break up play and protect the back four his most celebrated attributes.
Should Wolves be successful in their recruitment of Palhinha, he would be the eighth Portuguese addition to the squad, joining countrymen Bruno Jordão, Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence, Diego Jota, Rui Patrício, João Moutinho, Rúben Vinagre and Rúben Neves.