Matheus Nunes declines to participate in training with Wolves

Nunes usually operates in a more advanced position compared to Kovacic, which would bring a distinct dimension to City manager Pep Guardiola's options

(Football News) Matheus Nunes has opted not to participate in team training as part of his strategy to secure a move to Manchester City.

City reportedly had an initial bid of approximately £47 million ($60 million) for Nunes rejected by Wolves, the club that signed the Portuguese international during the 2022 offseason.

Wolves manager Gary O’Neil stated that there hasn’t been an improved offer from City, and with the transfer window closing on September 1, Nunes has chosen to distance himself from the squad following City’s bid.

O’Neil remarked, “He’s not with the group at the moment, his choice. After the bid from Manchester City, he decided it was best for him to not be with the group. Club policy and how we deal with things like that is set in place. As far as I’m aware there’s been no improved bid. Matheus Nunes is still our player, we have a long contract still with him and at this moment I fully expect him to be here come Sept. 2. The next few days will be key, of course, and conversations will take place that will be private between me and Matheus and I’m sure the situation will be resolved.”

Following Wolves’ 5-0 victory over Blackpool on Tuesday, O’Neil refrained from openly criticizing Nunes’ actions, noting that he would first need to discuss the matter with the player.

“You never need (to stop training) but players do,” O’Neil said. “You’ve seen it all over the country, I’ve seen it when I was playing, we’ve seen it in recent transfer windows, I can think of one in January, and it won’t change how the club deals with any bids or any situation. He definitely didn’t (need to) and there is a way to deal with these things but I’ll keep most of my thoughts private for when I speak with Matheus. I will speak to him and there will be advisors and representatives and there’s a lot of things that go on — it’s too simplistic to say ‘he’s done this and we think that.’ There’s a lot involved in situations like this.”

City lost Ilkay Gundogan, who joined Barcelona after his contract expired, and brought in central midfielder Mateo Kovacic as a replacement. However, this wasn’t a like-for-like swap, as Kovacic typically plays in deeper positions compared to Gundogan, who often operated as an attacking midfielder just behind Erling Haaland. The 25-year-old Nunes usually plays further forward than Kovacic, offering a different dynamic to City manager Pep Guardiola, who is also dealing with the absence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne.

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