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Wolves boss Bruno Lage eager to keep Hwang Hee-chan amid Leeds interest

Bruno Lage is adamant that he wants to keep Hwang Hee-chan this summer, amid interest from Leeds, but refuses to rule out a shock move.

Hwang Hee-chan (Getty)
Hwang Hee-chan (Getty)

The South Korean only signed as a permanent Wolves player this summer, in a £12million move from RB Leipzig, but Leeds have expressed a firm interest in the forward.

Any move would see Hwang reunited with his former Leipzig manager Jesse Marsch, and while Lage insists he wants to keep Hwang, he also does not rule out a late departure.

Lage said: “I’m very happy with him and I like him a lot.

“He had a programme made on him in South Korea and I joked with him that he’s very famous in Korea.

“Two days ago I was here at night and came to the building and the women’s team were playing football outside and I stayed 15-20 minutes watching the game.

“I was talking with the doorman about life and schedules and he said he’s here until 10pm and I said ‘but no one is here at 10pm’.

“He said sometimes Hwang comes here at 9.30pm just to have an ice bath and then he goes home.

“Hwang spends a lot of time in the academy like other players and he wants to be in his best shape all the time, and do everything he can to play.

“So we’re talking about a great professional, a great kid, a top player and someone who scored six important goals for us last season.

“Who wouldn’t want a player like him? I want him, I like him, but in the end we need to understand the market and the situation of the club.

“So we are looking for players from other teams, and we need to expect other teams are looking at our players also.

“He can play as a winger – especially on the left – and as a striker, like he’s done in the first few games.”

Willy Boly is being linked with a move away after Wolves rejected a £1million bid from Nottingham Forest.

When asked about outgoings before the window closes, Lage added: “Anything can happen.

“What I can say is, I am happy with everyone. When you look at the time from last year and the team that started pre-season, changes can happen.

“I am confident that we can change some things. We’ll understand the market and the opportunities we have, as well as the opportunities some players have here. We’ll decide what is best for the club and the players.”

Lage refused to discuss Wolves’ interest in Sasa Kalajdzic – as Wolves continue negotiations over a move for the Stuttgart striker – but admitted they are still searching for another forward.

He said: “We want more solutions. We are in the market and we’ll try to find a different striker, a different profile to Raul.

“Raul is very good in the dynamic and arrives in the box, and we want a different profile. That’s the only thing I can say now, we are looking for that.”

Meanwhile, the head coach confirmed Wolves have had no approaches for Adama Traore as the winger looks increasingly likely to stay at the club and see out the final year of his contract.

Lage said: “We haven’t had any offers, and the way he’s training and playing, I don’t see anything different.

“But let’s wait until the end of the window.

“The way he scored the goal and celebrated with his team-mates, I see that every day.

“In January he scored his first goal and every time, he gave us a big impact from the bench.

“We accepted his decision to go to Barcelona because it’s his team.

“Now he’s with us and I’m happy with him, and, I think from the signs he’s given, that he’s happy with us.”

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