What does Wolves' failed pursuit of De Bock mean for Ruben Vinagre?

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Portuguese head coach Nuno Espirito Santo watches from the touchline during the English League Cup fourth round football match between Manchester City and...

Ruben Vinagre was expected to join Wolves permanently from Ligue 1 champions Monaco, before the Championship leaders rivalled Leeds United for De Bock.

Manchester United's Mexican striker Javier Hernandez (L) is challenged by Club Brugge's Belgian defender Laurens De Bock during the UEFA Champions League play off football match between...

It is not often Wolves have been beaten this season, either on the pitch or in the transfer market.

But the Championship winners-elect have lost out to Leeds United for the signing of Belgian left-back Laurens De Bock. The defender has signed a four-and-a-half year deal at Elland Road just a few days after Voetball Krant stated that Wolves were also keen on signing him this month.

In truth, Leeds always needed De Bock more. While Wolves have arguably the best left-back in the Championship in Barry Douglas, the free-kick specialist with four goals and eight assists this season, Leeds never managed to replace the departed Charlie Taylor – until now.

Shinji Okazaki of Leicester City and Laurens De Bock of Club Brugge battle for possession during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Leicester City FC and Club Brugge KV at The...

But reports of Wolves’ rather surprising interest may raise a few questions about what the future holds for a player already part of Nuno Espirito Santo’s star-studded squad.

While Wolves are expected to sign Diego Jota and Willy Boly permanently, speculation has quietened surrounding fellow loanee Ruben Vinagre.

The 18-year-old, who is owned by Ligue 1 giants Monaco, started the season in excellent fashion and Wolves looked certain to trigger their exclusive deal to sign him on a full-time basis, as reported by the Express and Star.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Portuguese defender Ruben Vinagre (R) vies with Manchester City's Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure during the English League Cup fourth round football match between...

Since Douglas forced his way into the starting XI, however, Vinagre’s opportunities in the starting XI have dried up somewhat. He has begun just two Championship games since November.

And maybe sudden interest in De Bock is an indication that Wolves are yet to be totally convinced by the Portuguese youth star. After all, Wolves may not be shy of splashing the cash but they certainly don’t need three left-backs.

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