Wolves provided supporters with a surprise Christmas present as the club announced the signing of Matheus Cunha from Atletico Madrid.
It had been clear for a while that the 23-year-old was set to arrive at Molineux, completing a medical last week. New boss Julen Lopetegui had identified the Brazilian as a key target and Atleti manager Diego Simeone confirmed that the forward was destined for pastures new after 18 months in Spain, following his impressive spell with Hertha Berlin.
Wolves confirmed that the Brazil international will join on an initial loan deal on January 1, subject to work permit, and will seal a permanent move until 2027 “should certain clauses be triggered”. The transfer fee is reported to be £43million, which would make Cunha the club’s record signing, and Lopetegui is delighted to have snapped up the forward.
“Cunha is a good player. I know him, I think he’s a good signing for us in the present and also for the future. I feel that he is a very complete forward,” Lopetegui told the club’s website . “He has a good condition and good skills, not only technically, but physically, because this is England and in the Premier League you have to be very combative if you want to survive.
Wolves will continue to battle their way out of the bottom three when the team return to Premier League action at Everton. Despite the club’s precarious league position, though, sporting director Matt Hobbs thinks Cunha’s arrival sends a strong message to their relegation-fighting rivals and demonstrates the club’s belief in Lopetegui.
“He’s a player we liked before, but someone we didn’t think would be achievable for us in our current position,” Hobbs added . “Now it’s a bit of a statement, so other players we’re talking to, who may look at our league position, are now looking at the manager, and once they see the first signing, it gives them faith and belief in the project that Julen and I spoke about.”