Tottenham, Newcastle, Villa and Roma linked to Hwang Hee-chan


Hwang hee-Chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers looks on during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton FC at Molineux on May 20, 2023 in Wolverhampton, England.

Hwang Hee-chan could be on the move this summer as part of a string of sales Wolverhampton Wanderers are expected to make to comply with the Premier League’s Financial Fair Play regulations.

Under Financial Fair Play rules, a Premier League club is not allowed to rack up accumulated losses over £105 million over a three-year period.

Wolves reported a net loss of £46.1 million in the 2021-22 season, and then went on to acquire 10 senior squad members last year. Those additions are expected to push Wolves over — or at least dangerously close to — the £105-million mark, pushing the club to sell some players at the end of the season to cut down on their losses.

“There are some Financial Fair Play problems I didn’t know before,” manager Julen Lopetegui told reporters earlier this month. “I hope we will solve this issue. It’s very difficult to compete in the Premier League without investment.”

Hwang is one of a number of players that is believed to be attracting interest across the league, making him a potential option for Wolves to sell this summer. Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves has also been linked with a number of other clubs, as has Portuguese right-back Nelson Semedo.

Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are among a number of clubs monitoring Hwang, according to the Mirror last week. Aston Villa are also said to be in the mix, as are Jose Mourinho’s Roma.

Hwang joined Wolves on loan in 2021 and then signed a permanent contract in 2022 at £14 million. He impressed initially, scoring in his first game with Wolves and hammering in four goals in his initial six appearances, but injuries and increasingly long spells on the bench left him with just one goal for the rest of the season.

Hwang started this season in a similar injury-laden slump, but turned things around under Lopetegui and regained his place as a key part of the squad this year. He scored twice in the tense end of season run, including against Everton in the penultimate game.

Despite the wobbles, Hwang has proven to be very comfortable with Lopetegui’s leadership. The Spanish coach took over at Wolves when the club was in last place at Christmas, leading it nearly halfway up the table to a 13th-place finish.

Wolves are only the fifth club in the Premier League era to avoid relegation after spending in Christmas in last place.

Whether Wolves would actually sell Hwang is unclear. If the money was right and the club was desperate the move could go ahead, but Lopetegui is said to be loath to lose the Korean midfielder and Wolves have already invested a significant amount of money on a preseason tour in Korea — presumably with Hwang intended to take center stage.

The Financial Fair Play rules could also upset things further at the Molineux, with reporters throughout the last couple of weeks suggesting that Lopetegui could also consider leaving the club this summer if the issues are not resolved.

The Spanish manager has made it clear that investment is needed to better improve the team, suggesting that the club will need to find a way to free up enough funds to avoid Premier League punishment and allow Lopetegui to make some changes if they want to keep the manager at the club.

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

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