Wolverhampton Wanderers could find themselves without Leander Dendoncker next season with Serie A outfit Lazio thought to be interested.
With 35-year-old Lucas Leiva’s future up in the air amid the expiry of his contract this summer, as well as the rumoured departure of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Lazio are on the lookout for a versatile midfielder capable of replacing the duo.
Dendoncker’s current deal in the Midlands expires at the end of next season with the option to a further year and Lazio have been put on alert.
According to Il Tempo (via Sport Witness) the Italian outfit have liked him ‘since his times at Anderlecht’ and his name could ‘come back into fashion’ this summer and if the Belgian were to part here we outline two knock-on effects it would have on the club.
With Wolves already facing a fight to keep hold of the £36m-rated Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho’s contract expiring this summer, the further loss of Dendoncker could have a huge impact on the Old Gold’s engine room.
The trio have shared responsibility in the Wolves midfield this season and with the potential of losing all three it will no doubt force Fosun to act.
Sporting Lisbon maestro Joao Palhinha has been touted as a possible replacement but instead of dipping into the transfer market, manager Bruno Lage could look within in his own quarters for the answer.
Have Wolves improved under Lage?
Chance to shine
The departure of Dendoncker, dubbed a “top talent” by the Express & Star’s Joe Edwards, could provide young upstart Luke Cundle with an opportunity to step up.
“Maybe Luke (Cundle) can be a key man because it allows us to play with four midfielders.
“He is just 19 and I am very happy with him. The most important thing is the confidence he gives to us. He was there against top players playing like he is in the playground.”
Cundle has played the majority of his football as a defensive midfielder for the club’s U23s but he has featured as an attacking midfielder before for Jamie Collins’ side and earned comparisons to Phil Foden from the U23’s boss:
“We took a litle risk with the change of shape and the ‘false nine’ with no centre-forward.
We played Luke (Cundle) up there, ‘Phil Foden-esque’, and I thought he played really well.”
It appears that Cundle has a bright future in front of him and the burgeoning talent could well get his chance to show supporters his ability sooner rather than later.
His emergence could be the one silver lining in what could be a serious re-shuffle in the Wanderers’ midfield this summer.