WOLVES will attempt to head off Sunderland’s interest in Steven Fletcher by slapping an incredible £12million price tag on their star forward.
The Black Cats have already held preliminary discussions with Fletcher’s Edinburgh-based agent and were fed back positive messages about the striker’s willingness to relocate to Wearside and spearhead a refreshed Sunderland squad.
But they have not yet begun negotiations with relegated Wolves – who are feeling bullish about their chances of extracting a huge fee for a player who has hit double figures in all three of his Premier League seasons.
Molineux sources have indicated to The Journal that it will take at least £12million to encourage Wolves to start talking – while an astonishing fee of £14million is also being talked about in the Black Country.
Wolves’ reasoning is based on the fact that Darren Bent commanded around £23million. The club is also under no pressure to sell their best players after living within their means during their three stints in the Premier League.
The only way Wolves’ stance would be compromised is if Fletcher forces their hand by requesting a transfer, but there are few indications that the forward will do that at the moment.
Sunderland know that Fletcher’s valuation places him in the premium end of the market and with boss Martin O’Neill acutely aware that he needs to box clever in the transfer window, it may rule them out of contention for the Wolves forward.