Wolverhampton Wanderers were at the front of the queue to sign Samuel ‘Samu’ Costa but the Premier League outfit never made an offer that would have convinced Almeria to sell the £21 million midfielder, according to AS.
At the start of June, speculation suggesting that Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho could follow Rui Patricio out of Molineux was spreading like wildfire.
That Iberian exodus, however, has not yet come to pass.
Neves and Moutinho have featured regularly under Bruno Lage in pre-season and should be involved during the top-flight opener away at Leicester City on August 14, links with Arsenal and Porto having dried up over the last couple of weeks.
So maybe that is why Wolves never stepped up their interest in a man who’s tough-tackling, all-action style has made him the jewel in the crown of an ambitious, Saudi-backed Almeria side.
And, yes, Costa is a Jorge Mendes client.
Why did Wolves not sign Samuel ‘Samu’ Costa?
Then, things went quiet.
Reports linking Costa with Wolves completely dropped off the radar and, according to AS, the Premier League side never actually made a bid for the Portugal U20 international despite showing ‘great interest’ in a man renowned for his relentless work-ethic and his ball-winning ways.
Perhaps they felt that £21 million was too much for a man who’s played just 38 senior games.
Then again, Wolves do have a track record when it comes to paying for potential rather than proven quality; £35 million for Fabio Silva anyone?
“I am very happy, very focused, my head is only here. I want to help my teammates and moving up (to the top tier) is the only goal I have,” Costa said over the weekend, putting the speculation to bed for good.
“A player has to feel the club has confidence in him and, for that, I am very grateful to Almeria. Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of work nobody notices, work that has helped me a lot.
“Now I want more. I want to stay and I am fine here.”