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Bruno Lage refuses to rule out Conor Coady's Wolves exit

Bruno Lage has refused to rule out Conor Coady’s Wolves exit as the player searches for regular minutes.

Conor Coady (Getty)
Conor Coady (Getty)

The captain is likely to start the Premier League season among the substitutes after Wolves’ switch to a back four.

With the World Cup starting in November, it is understood Coady is keen for a move away for regular game time in order to secure his place in the England squad, and Wolves would entertain a move to help him achieve that dream.

And when asked about the prospect of him leaving, Lage was coy but did not rule it out.

“I really don’t know,” he said.

“What I know is I will respect him as always. I need to understand what is best for him.

“It’s not just about the World Cup, the players always want to play. Coady, and all the players since the first day, are focused and trying to improve to play in the line of four.”

In his seven years at the club Coady has been a mainstay in the side, and Lage was quick to heap praise on the 29-year-old.

Lage added: “He is one of the best people I know in football. I had a great season with him, and I think he had a great season with me. He is a guy that you will keep in your friendship group because he is a lovely guy - he is my captain, he is still my captain.

“Since Wolves arrived in the Premier League do you know how many games they played? 152. You know how many games Coady played? 151. With me he played all the games.

“Massive respect from me to Coady and massive respect from the club to Coady. Now I have more solutions and I will choose the best for my team, but I cannot forget Coady and I cannot forget any player. It’s important to understand the main point in pre-season with the line of four, it was because we had time to work and in the first pre-season I just had two weeks.

“After these five weeks, I can see that we can grow up in this system and I have no doubt that my team can play very well in both systems.

“It gives me more opportunities to manage the games, especially with five subs.”

Meanwhile, Wolves seem to have won the battle to keep Ruben Neves at the club this season.

The star midfielder has been consistently linked with a move away and at the end of last season insisted he had ‘dreams’ to fulfil in his career, as he hinted at an exit.

Wolves were expecting more interest in him back in June but nothing materialised and Neves now seems set to stay at Molineux with two years left on his deal.

Although Wolves have offered Neves a new deal, which is yet to be signed, it is hoped they could re-ignite conversations when the transfer window closes, providing that he remains a Wolves player.

Lage said: “Credit to Jeff (Shi). People try to criticise but we try to do our best.

“If you want to build something good, first you want to try to keep your best players.

“The first step, we did that. Now we need patience – we are working to find the best player at the right price.

“We have a month in front of us to be patient and continue to improve our squad.”

However, the head coach was also eager to say that certain offers could be too good to turn down for both Neves and Morgan Gibbs-White.

Wolves are keen to keep the pair, but understand that every player has a price.

Lage said: “Sometimes you don’t have a chance to say no to proposals. How can I say no to a proposal where you can sell one player and buy three.

“There’s offers where you cannot say no. But Ruben is an important player for us and if a proposal comes with the price we think we deserve (we could sell). Until now nothing has come for Ruben. Unless (such offers) come for him and Morgan, they are important players to me and we won’t sell.”

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