Wolves to tie players to longer contracts

Wolves today warned fans they may have to cash in on players in the last year of their contracts as the club strive to keep stars on long-term deals.

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Wolves today warned fans they may have to cash in on players in the last year of their contracts as the club strive to keep stars on long-term deals.

Michael Kightly is the name on everyone's lips of those into his final year and the club have received an undisclosed bid for the 26-year-old winger, believed to be from Stoke.

But reports they have accepted a £2m offer from the Potters for Kightly are incorrect, as are suggestions that Wolves will accept £12m for Steven Fletcher – who can command a huge fee as he has three years on his contract – after rejecting a £10m bid from Sunderland.

Wolves have turned down a £1.8m offer from Besiktas for Ronald Zubar, who's also into his last year, as are Christophe Berra, Nenad Milijas, Stephen Hunt and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake.

A Molineux source suggested the club can't keep all six players into the last year and said Wolves may have to take the pragmatic view and cash in now before their transfer value falls sharply.

Boss Stale Solbakken today predicted a "long, long month" ahead as Wolves continued to refuse to budge on their stance on Fletcher.

It's also understood there is an offer in for winger Matt Jarvis and Liverpool want keeper Dorus De Vries.

"We're looking all the time at targets but you don't replace Fletcher overnight - that's impossible," said the boss.

"No matter what happens, we mustn't weaken ourselves.

"I can't answer how we do that until September 3. It's a long, long month now coming up, but at the moment he's a Wolves player and we're planning with him.

"Everybody at Wolves wants to keep him. But even (Lionel) Messi has a price.

"He has three years on his contract - that's how we look at it."

Solbakken added: "Maybe players will go but players will definitely come in.

"We've already sold Sam Vokes (to Burnley for £500,000) and Adlene Guedioura (Nottingham Forest for £1m).

Fletcher (ankle), Carl Ikeme (knee), De Vries, Jamie O'Hara (hernia), Kightly (toe) and Matt Jarvis (groin) missed last night's 2-2 friendly draw at Shrewsbury and are doubts for Saturday's final pre-season friendly at Premier League new boys Southampton.

Fletcher's knock is one of several minor niggles Wolves are battling.

But Solbakken is confident he knows his strongest team, adding: "If you closed the transfer window today, I'd have a pretty good idea what my best team would be."

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