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‘There are FFP problems that I didn’t know before’

Wolves head coach Julen Lopetegui has suggested he was misled over the club’s summer transfer plans.

Lopetegui emerged from a meeting with Jeff Shi, the chairman, admitting concerns over Financial Fair Play rules have altered the spending budget from what he first expected.

“I have had that meeting and I know now there are some Financial Fair Play problems that I didn’t know before,” said Lopetegui, 56.

“Now I hope we will solve this issue because it’s very difficult to compete in the Premier League without investment.

“Despite the club investing this year it has been a very hard year so we have to learn the lesson and to be able to do our homework and try to improve the team.”

Wolves were bottom of the Premier League when the former Spain and Real Madrid coach took over last November.

But he steered them to safety with three games to play and they currently sit 13th as they prepare to host relegation-threatened Everton on Saturday.

Asked if he is confident the club can solve the problems, Lopetegui said: “I hope so. It’s one thing I didn’t know before. I hope we’ll be able to improve to compete next season.”

Wolves spent heavily in the January transfer window without recouping any money.

Matheus Cunha, on loan from Atletico Madrid, will become the club’s £48 million record signing this summer, while Mario Lemina, Craig Dawson, Joao Gomes, Pablo Sarabia and Boubacar Traore cost a combined £42 million.

Sources say Wolves won’t breach FFP rules, but after two expensive transfer windows during which the only sizeable returns were the sales of Morgan Gibbs-White to Nottingham Forest for £25 million rising to £42 million and Leander Dendoncker to Aston Villa for £13 million, they might be ‘fishing in a different pond’ in a summer of big change.

Ruben Neves, who only has 13 months left on his contract, will almost certainly leave after six years for around £45 million, with Barcelona his most likely destination.

Out-of-favour Raul Jimenez, Daniel Podence and Rayan Ait-Nouri look set to leave, and Diego Costa, Adama Traore, Joao Moutinho are out of contract and will also go.

But right-back Nelson Semedo is set to trigger a two-year option on his contract to stay.
“He’s one of our important players and I’m sure the club are going to activate the clause,” said the Spaniard.

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