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Wolves digest: Nuno’s Neves dilemma; What next for Gibbs-White; Transfer talk hots up


Boycott plans

Wolves fixture with Newcastle United on Sunday takes on extra significance for the home side.

The Toon Army have been protesting against Mike Ashley’s ownership during games at St James’s Park this season and had originally planned to boycott the game, which will be screened live on Sky Sports.

The Magpie Group were behind the idea and have previously held protests outside Sports Direct and the United club shop at home games since the start of the season.

In the last home game, an 11th minute walk-in failed to make a big statement although several hundred – and perhaps even a thousand – did decide to stay in the concourses for the first 11 minutes of the West Ham game, which Newcastle lost 3-0.

But whether the boycott against Wolves will now stand is now unclear, as influential fanzine True Faith has called for it to be abandoned amid takeover speculation that they “believe is real”.



True Faith is the largest United fanzine and is part of the Magpie Group.

Fanzine founder Michael Martin has penned an editorial that read:

“You don’t need this fanzine to let on that the talk of the Tyne is a potential sale of Newcastle United to new owners.

“Every bit of evidence we have received privately and which is being covered in the media suggests this is real.

“A successful takeover will be greatly enhanced by Newcastle United’s Premier League status looking more positive than it does now. “Therefore it is the agreed editorial position of TRUE FAITH (my that sounds high and mighty) to withdraw our support for any match boycott of this Sunday’s home game at St James’ Park versus Wolves.

“We believe the boycott is no longer in the long term interests of Newcastle United at this moment in time and should be cancelled.

“We will be attending this Sunday’s match and encourage everyone to do so in order to give Rafa and the team the kind of support that will help them collect three points, move us towards Premier League safety and help smooth any takeover.

“However, should the takeover not occur we will of course support further action including boycotts providing they have the broad support of match-going supporters.

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“We call upon The Magpie Group to call off Sunday’s planned boycott.”

Takeover latest

According to the BBC, Former Chelsea and Manchester United chief executive Peter Kenyon is heading a consortium that is in talks to buy the club.

Current owner Mike Ashley said in an interview this week that discussions over a sale “are at a more progressed stage than they have ever been”.



It is believed a potential deal with Kenyon is what Ashley was referring to.

Kenyon is understood to be working with the American financial advisory firm Rockefeller Capital Management.

It is unknown if a firm bid has been lodged yet.

However, Kenyon’s group are short on time if the purchase is to be made prior to the start of the January transfer window.

Neves latest

Nuno Espirito Santo once against showed his tactical nous to lead Wolves to a memorable win over Chelsea on Wednesday evening.

Despite trailing at half time due to Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s opener, Wolves sealed three points in style with goals from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota.

Without star man Ruben Neves – who missed the match due to suspension – Nuno had to tinker with his starting XI.



But the Portuguese head coach’s decision to field Morgan Gibbs-White as a false nine and have Romain Saiss and Joao Moutinho in midfield came as a small shock.

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It worked, however, with all three players playing integral roles in Wolves’ most impressive Premier League win of the season.

After the game Nuno said: “Chelsea have excellent players. Sarri’s idea is to keep the ball and it requires a lot of effort and running – and the boys did that. We did that and we stayed in the game.

“Even though at the start of the second half Chelsea has two chances to score. At that moment I think the team was thinking about going forward and it became rushed and unbalanced.



“And when we got the goal, not only me but Molineux felt we were back in the game. The way they believed and worked for the fans, who became so noisy and pushed the team, and we got a good performance and a good result.”

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But might Nuno now have created a problem he’d never envisaged? Watch the video at the top of the page for Alex Dicken’s thoughts.

Live on TV

Wolves’ spirited displays against the Premier League big-boys this season have earned them a prime-time TV slot against Liverpool in the FA Cup third round.

The Molineux clash with the Reds will be broadcast live on BBC1 on Monday January 7 (19:45).

So far this season Wolves have impressed against the top sides in the division, beating Chelsea and taking points off Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton.

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What’s happening at Wolves?

It’s one of the reasons why the game has been handpicked by the BBC for live viewing, and why both Sky Sports and BT Sport will be encouraged to screen further games in 2019.

Last season, bitter rivals Albion beat Liverpool in the FA Cup, so will Wolves make it another miserable night for Jurgen Klopp’s men?

If they do see off the second-placed Premier league side, they will be in the hat for the fourth round, which will also be drawn live from Molineux.



Last night’s victory against Chelsea helped end a run of five games without a win.

And it appears that Nuno Espirito Santo’s men are actually a better-performing side against the stronger teams in the division.

Wolves came close to salvaging a draw against Tottenham Hotspur, too, in a recent 3-2 defeat. They also performed admirably against the Manchester clubs and at the Emirates,.

Potential re-arrangements

Fans should be aware, however, that should the tie finish level and result in a replay at Anfield, or Manchester City are held by Rotherham, Wolves’ Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium will be brought forward to Sunday January 13.

The trip to Manchester is currently scheduled for Monday January 14, so supporters are strongly advised to delay arranging any travel and accommodation for the game.

Transfer talk

Wolverhampton Wanderers are edging closer to securing the signing of Japan international Shoya Nakajima, according to reports in Portugal.

The 24-year-old has emerged onto the radars of several Premier League clubs this season, having scored five goals this season for Portuguese top tier side Portimonense after hitting double figures in the last campaign.

Leicester City and Southampton have been keeping close tabs on Nakajima, who also has four assists to his name this term, and have watched him in action.

But Wolves are said to be leading the race to sign the midfielder, and according to A Bola, negotiations are in the final stages.



Nakajima has a release clause of £35m but Wolves are confident they can snare him for less than that due to Portimonense’s need to raise funds.

Nakajima – who joined Portimonense from FC Tokyo initially on loan last year – has been capped six times by Japan and scored twice, including in a recent win over Kyrgyzstan.

Wolves currently have Helder Costa, Diogo Jota, Adama Traore, Ivan Cavaleiro and Morgan Gibbs-White as options out wide

Meanwhile, Mbaye Diagne, the Kasimpasa striker reportedly on Wolves’ transfer shortlist, has revealed his wish to play in England.

The 27-year-old has been linked with Wolves in recent weeks ahead of the transfer window which re-opens in less than a month.

Reports from ESPN have claimed that the Molineux club have met with Diagne’s representatives to discuss a proposed switch – and that in late November further talks were scheduled.

Wolves are keen on adding to their firepower next month to provide competition to Raul Jimenez.



The Mexico striker has started every Premier League match this season and although he has laid on four assists for his teammates, his goal return of four means Wolves are looking to enhance their options upfront.

Diagne, who has hit an incredible 16 goals in just 14 matches this season, could fit the bill.

And speaking about the speculation surrounding his future, the Kasimpasa forward said: “It’s too early to talk. I would love to play for a great club.

“In Europe or Turkey. I would like to play in England, Germany or Spain. We will discuss that later.

“First, I have to continue my great form.”


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Diagne has scored 28 goals in 30 appearances since joining Turkish Super Lig side Kasimpasa from Hungarian outfit Ujpest Dozsa in January.

He was closely linked with with Leeds United over the summer and it is claimed that work permit problems could have been resolved after he applied for an EU passport.

The Senegal international spent this early career in Italy with Brandizzo and Bra before moving to Juventus where he failed to make an impact.

He was sent out on several loans and was successful with Ujpest where he scored 11 goals in his ten games.

Reports in Turkey state that following his rich vein of form in front of goal, Kasimpasa will demand around £17m to sell.

Chill out

The Chelsea fans at Molineux were silenced by the defeat to Wolves .

The same can’t be said for this fan on Twitter.

Abhradeep Saha took to social media to voice his displeasure at the manner of Chelsea’s defeat to Wolves, and in doing so he turned the air the colour of his beloved Stamford Bridge idols.

Watch the video above in all its’ four-letter glory, it’s fair to say that the BirminghamLive bleep machine has come in handy today.

You can see more of the self-titled ranter here – www.instagram.com/angryrantman/

Here are the thoughts of other Chelsea fans after watching their side throw away three points:

The Swan: “The second half was painful. We were out fought and at times Wolves bullied us.

“We don’t have a natural leader and lack a physical presence. The same when we played Spuds.

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“People are highlighting individual players deficiencies but if a team wants to beat Chelsea they just have to out muscle us



“This evening we were too pedestrian and communication between the players was poor.

“People have said Cheek played well but he was absent in the second half, although he was not the only one.

“The fans who made the effort tonight deserved better.”

Brutos: “I am the only one who saw Rudi walking for the second goal? Love the guy but he was so laxed for the second goal while the wolves player busting a gut to get in the box to score.”

GYBLUE: “That second half performance was horrendous, totally bullied off the ball, our players knocking the ball about like we was 3 or 4 up not losing with 20 to go. A sense of urgency is required.”

IlliyaKrtostin : Credits to Wolves for not giving up and pushing forward to grab 2 goals.

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Source : BirminghamMail

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