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Shi breaks silence on Wolves transfer struggles and Lage comments

Wolverhampton Wanderers chairman Jeff Shi has explained why his club did not make any signings towards the end of the transfer window.

Wolves head coach Bruno Lage, who has started his maiden campaign at Molineux well, wanted a minimum of two new players on the final day of the summer market.

In the end Lage did not get his wish, though, despite links to Lille midfielder Renato Sanches, Marseille talent Boubacar Kamara and Cardiff City striker Kieffer Moore.

Morgan Gibbs-White departed Molineux on loan to Sheffield United, reducing Lage’s squad even further.

There was anger and frustration from Wolves fans toward Shi and the club’s owners Fosun after a summer that saw the shock exit of Nuno Espiritio Santo and arrival of Lage, who wanted to shape the squad in his image.

Ruben Neves and Adama Traore remained at Wolves but, while Wolves added Francisco Trincao and Hee-chan Hwang as well as four other players, Lage’s demands were not met toward the end of the window.

Only two days before the window did Lage again express his wish for more players.

Shi, in an interview with The Athletic, addressed what Lage said.

“Bruno is OK, he understands how difficult it is, but from outside people might try to use his nice, honest quotes to attack us a bit,” Shi said.

“I don’t want to correct (the supporters), but inside the club we’re totally OK and the chemistry with the coach is great, we’re really happy with him.

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“He was with us throughout the process; on deadline night, he was here with me and we jointly made the decision that we were done.

“We have 20 senior players right now. He maybe wanted 22, but the squad is still a very good one.

“People ask why did Wolves leave all their targets until the final day…it’s not the truth. All the targets on the last day weren’t totally ideal targets. We’d been working for several months on ideal top targets.”

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 09: The Wolverhampton Wanderers club badge during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brighton & Hove Albion at Molineux on May 9, 2021 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

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Shi also responded to concerns about funding and stressed that the money was available.

He says it was more about making sure the club brought in the right type of player and that any deal worked for everyone.

“We could have spent money on a player, the budget wasn’t an issue, albeit we can’t spend like Manchester City or Chelsea,” Shi added.

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“We could easily have bought four or five players, but Bruno had the say on who he did or didn’t want.

“It’s not all about the budget, it’s about finding top players to come here, which isn’t easy. You need the player to be top quality, to want to move, the club (he’d be leaving) to want to sell and the fee to be more or less fair.”

What do you make of what Shi said? Have your say in the comments section…

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