PREMIER LEAGUE clubs plan urgent talks over Wolves’ relationship with super-agent Jorge Mendes.
The Midlands club will be back in the top flight after a six-year absence if they beat Birmingham City on Sunday.
Mendes, who looks after the interests of Jose Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo, has been responsible for many of Wolves’ recent signings.
And the so-called ‘Big Six’ and smaller clubs alike are said by more than one Telegraph source to fear that Mendes’ relationship with the Midlanders could give them an unfair advantage in the transfer market.
The Telegraph also points out that since Wolves were taken over by Fosun International in July 2016, months after a subsidiary of the Chinese conglomerate bought a 20 per cent stake in Mendes’s Gestifute agency, they have signed several of the Portuguese’s clients.
They include manager Nuno Espirito Santo and Championship record signing Ruben Neves, a £15.8million capture from Porto.
Neves was on target with a wonder goal against Derby County in Wednesday’s 2-0 victory that has made the Birmingham game a promotion D-day.
It is unclear what the Premier League – or Championship clubs, for that matter – can actually do but one option could be for the 20 clubs to attempt to introduce a regulation outlawing the kind of shareholding Fosun’s subsidiary holds in Gestifute.
Last month Wolves’ promotion rivals – including Derby, Leeds United and Aston Villa – demanded an English Football League investigation into whether the club had breached its, or Football Association, rules.
Days later Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani reacted to his side’s defeat against Wolves by questioning the legality of their links to Mendes in a Twitter rant.
The EFL responded by announcing the matter had been raised at a meeting of its board “in light of recent concerns raised by a number of clubs” and promised to convene a meeting with Wolves.
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Fosun’s takeover of Wolves was approved in 2016 after it was deemed their relationship with Mendes did not breach FA conflict-of-interest rules prohibiting agents having an interest in a club, or a club having an interest in an agency.
Questions over Mendes’ involvement surfaced after Wolves signed Ivan Cavaleiro from Monaco for £7.2 m, although it was Gestifute executive Valdir Cardoso’s name was on the paperwork.
Then Wolves twice smashed the Championship transfer record paying £12.8m to Benfica for Helder Costa in January last year before landing Neves.
They also brought in Diogo Jota on a season-long loan from Atletico, while Nuno – Mendes’ first-ever client – arrived to take charge at Molineux in the close season.