Exclusive - Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo is seeking a new centre-back to bolster his defensive options ahead of next season and could turn to Atletico Madrid by utilising close contacts with super-agent Jorge Mendes.
Mendes has had significant involvement with Wolves’ rise from the Championship into the top half of the Premier League, including Nuno’s own recruitment in 2017.
90min understands that Nuno wants an additional centre-back to bring extra competition to the squad, pushing the existing options and potentially be a starter themselves. Wolves primarily used Conor Coady, Romain Saiss and Willy Boly during the 2019/20 campaign.
Looking to Atletico Madrid to find one could be beneficial for both clubs and former Manchester City title winner Stefan Savic has emerged as a target, as well as Brazilian international Felipe.
Atletico have no intention of letting defensive star Jose Gimenez leave the club, but Savic and Felipe could be available. With Savic turning 30 in January and Felipe recently 31, the Madrid side are looking to bring in younger players. However, both players are still of repute at the highest level.
Atletico have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis, on top of the financial costs attached to paying off their new Wanda Metropolitano stadium, and are in need of money to help carry out their own recruitment plans this summer.
Savic in particular could be a shrewd signing. He already has experience of English football from his time as a young player at Manchester City when he collected a Premier League winner’s medal in 2011/12 and is usually a starter for Atletico in La Liga and the Champions League when fit.
Felipe only joined Atletico last summer following a €20m transfer from Porto, with whom he had been since 2016 when he first arrived in Europe from his native Brazil. He started 33 games in all competitions for Los Rojiblancos last season, while no centre-back at the club played more minutes than Brazilian in 2019/20.