This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to the Daily Mail, Wolves are attempting to hijack Arsenal’s move for Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani by preparing a £30m bid with Unai Emery’s side only wanting the Italy international on a two-year loan with an option to buy.
What’s the word?
Wolves have had a relatively quiet transfer window bringing in five new players, with Patrick Cutrone the pick of the bunch, as well as securing two of last season’s loan stars in Leander Dendoncker and Raul Jimenez.
Nuno Santo primarily deploys a formation that requires three central defenders so strength in depth will be needed going into a Premier League and Europa League campaign.
The club currently have four firm choices in that department – club captain Conor Coady, Willy Boly, Ryan Bennett and new loan arrival Jesus Vallejo.
Serious statement of intent
Wolves have also been linked with Benfica star Ruben Dias for the most part of the summer but with a release clause of £57m, they have since called off their pursuit.
If Santo is truly after another centre-back then Rugani could prove to be an interesting option, if not a serious statement of intent.
The 25-year-old has played 87 matches for Juventus in the Serie A, which has often been the breeding ground for some of the greatest defenders in history – think Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Fabio Cannavaro and Alessandro Nesta.
He has fallen down the hierarchy in Turin after new boss Maurizio Sarri elected to splash the cash on Matthijs de Ligt for £68m.
Rugani would bring some European pedigree to a club which is competing in their first Europa League campaign in nearly 40 years – the Italy international played 90 minutes in both legs of their quarter-final defeat to Ajax in the Champions League.
Those two matches are the same amount that new arrival Vallejo has played in Europe during his relatively-short career so it could be suggested that more experience is certainly needed in that sense.
Arsenal also want the player which only goes to show the quality he possesses – if Wolves can clinch a deal before the deadline on Thursday night then they could quite easily rival teams like the Gunners for a top-four berth next season.
Wolves had the sixth-best defensive record in the Premier League last term which was better than both Arsenal and Manchester United so the possible addition of Rugani would only make further measures to show the level at which Santo’s side can compete in the top-flight.