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Bruno Lage eager to 'protect' Adama Traore from January transfer

Bruno Lage has outlined Wolves’ determination to ‘protect’ Adama Traore from a January transfer as he compares it to Manchester City’s summer pursuit of Harry Kane.

Adama Traore. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.
Adama Traore. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Tottenham Hotspur reportedly lodged a £15million bid for Traore this week, which was swiftly turned down as it did not meet Wolves’ valuation.

The club may be forced to cash in on the winger as he is yet to sign a new deal, despite being in talks for one for over a year, with only 18 months left on his current contract.

But Lage is eager to hold on to him and when quizzed about Spurs’ interest in him, the head coach compared it to Spurs’ hard-line stance on Kane last summer when Manchester City offered in excess of £100million for his services.

“I don’t know how much they offered and I don’t know really if they did any offer,” Lage said.

“I won’t talk about money because that’s not for me.

“We have a top player with us, a lovely guy. Sometimes it’s about business.

“I remember how much Tottenham protected their main striker Harry Kane at the beginning of the season with the big offers – and they protected the player to stay with them.

“And we will protect our player because we believe a lot in Adama. That is business. It’s not my concern. But I will protect my players.

“For me, with the way they work, the value for me is very high.”

Following Spurs’ attempt to sign Traore in the summer, when former Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo was in charge, Wolves then offered the Spaniard a new and improved contract in an attempt to secure his future.

But Traore is understood to want to be one of the biggest earners at the club if any new deal was to become reality, and he is yet to sign on the dotted line.

Wolves now face the possibility of losing the £18million signing for free in 2023, unless he is sold this month or ahead of next season.

“It depends what’s best for each, the player and the club,” added Lage. “I don’t see any difference in his behaviour, his mentality, the way he works. I’m happy with him. He continues to be the same player.

“As you know, he just has one more year left (on his contract). The club talks with him and he talks with the club, and they will decide the future.

“I am happy with him, that’s the only thing I can say. Until today, he’s focused, he’s ready and a good example is the way he jumped from the bench and helped the team win the game (against Southampton).

“That’s a good example of Adama and the relationship between me and Adama.”

When asked if it is difficult to plan ahead when there is uncertainty over a player’s future, Lage added: “I don’t think about it, I just think about the next game.

“It will be a hard game and we try to prepare in the best way because Brentford are a strong team to play against, especially at home.

“My attention and focus is every time on the next game and I don’t think about if Adama stays with us or not.

“For now, he’s with us so I’m preparing the game with him.”

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