Wolverhampton Wanderers could soon ‘close the deal’ for Sporting Club de Portugal midfielder João Palhinha.

That’s according to Jornal de Noticias, who say the imminent departure of Ruben Neves has opened the door for Palhinha to make the move to Molineux.

The newspaper reports that the midfielder ‘has a market’ in the Premier League, but it Wolves who are leading the race for his signature.

Neves is reportedly on the verge of leaving Bruno Lage’s side, and that ‘opens space’ for them to complete a €24m deal for Palhinha.

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There had been interest from Manchester United in the past, but they have not put a proposal forwards, and so Wolves are now in pole position to secure a deal.

The transfer is being ‘mediated’ by super-agent Jorge Mendes, who is working to get a deal done for the midfielder as he believes that now is the right time to make his move away from Portugal.

He does have a €60m release clause in his contract, which he signed last September, but Sporting are seemingly more than happy to do a deal for considerably less than that as the money they bring in will mean they won’t be forced to sanction any other exits this summer.