Wolves boss Bruno Lage is confident Matheus Nunes, the new record signing, can do justice to Pep Guardiola as one of the world’s best young talents – and jokes that such a ringing confirmation could have cost the club an extra £10m.
Sporting Lisbon are understood to have initially paid €45m (£38m) for the 23-year-old, with a further €5m (£4.2m) in potential surcharges.
Nunes brings Champions League experience having been part of the Sporting side that were beaten by City last season.
After City’s 5-0 win in Lisbon, Guardiola described Nunes as “one of the best players in the world today”.
Lage thinks the praise is justified – even if it would have raised the young midfielder’s asking price.
“At that moment I was mad at Pep, because when Pep makes such a statement, the value of the player increases!” said the boss of the wolves.
“Now if I look for him I have to pay £10m more because if a manager like Pep says something about a player he pays £10m more (on the fee).”
Lage added: “I don’t know if anyone else (from a Champions League club) tried to sign him.
“But it’s not just about the money and the club, it’s about the project you can offer him at that moment.
“What I do know is that when I start working with him, you see who he is.”
Following Morgan Gibbs-White’s departure to Nottingham Forest on Friday, Nunes is expected to be included straight into the squad for Saturday’s trip to Tottenham.
However, Lage warned against expecting too much from the club’s latest signing too soon.
“He lives in a hotel, doesn’t have a car yet and has to learn to drive on the other side – but the most important thing for him is to be comfortable,” said the Wolves boss.
“We buy a player for the long term. We’re not pressuring – if he comes off the bench and plays 20 minutes I don’t want him to score three goals against Tottenham.
“What I want is for him to start developing confidence, knowing his teammates and playing like he did for Sporting.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/bruno-lage-wolves-pep-guardiola-sporting-lisbon-champions-league-b2148931.html Bruno Lage backs Matheus Nunes after joking Pep Guardiola has added £10m to the fee