Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett today insisted the race is on to replace Bakary Sako.
Player of the Year Sako is set to seal a £4million-plus move to Fulham next week, as Wolves were today hoping to complete Jackett’s first signing in Crewe midfielder Luke Murphy.
With Wolves resigned to Sako’s departure, the player’s representatives have negotiated with the Craven Cottage club and an agreement on personal terms is in place once the fee is thrashed out.
But Wolves chief executive Jez Moxey and his close friend, Fulham counterpart Alistair Mackintosh, are still haggling.
Moxey, aware Sako is easily Wolves’ most expensive asset, is keen to drive the price as high as possible, just like he did successfully last year with Steven Fletcher and Matt Jarvis.
Fulham remain leading contenders for Sako’s signature but Lille, Lyon and Marseille are keen to take the winger back to France.
Sako wants to prove himself in England and there are one or two other clubs in this country who could come to the table if the move to west London falls through.
The departure of Sako would be the third winger Wolves have lost this summer, with Stephen Hunt freed and Adam Hammill sold to Huddersfield.
And Jackett has already put out feelers for a natural replacement on the left.
He said: "Sako is the only natural wide left player in the squad and, if he does go, that would need some attention. And we would need that option in the squad? Yes.
“We would want someone who has played there, someone with experience there and preferably left footed.”