Wolves weigh up whether to keep Diego Costa on a new one-year deal - with Julen Lopetegui impressed by the Spaniard's influence on the squad - but can't act on plans for next season until Premier League safety is guaranteed
- Wolves are considering the future of Spanish striker Diego Costa
- The former Chelsea forward moved to Wolves in the summer window
- Club boss Julen Lopetegui is considering whether to hand Costa a new deal
Wolves are weighing up whether to hand a new one-year contract to Diego Costa with boss Julen Lopetegui impressed by his influence on and off the pitch.
Although the former Chelsea forward has scored only once in 20 league appearances since moving to Molineux last September, he has become a hugely important figure in the dressing room since Lopetegui took charge after the World Cup break.
Though the raw statistics do not show it, Lopetegui and his coaches believe Costa has contributed greatly to Wolves’ improved performances.
They were bottom when the Premier League resumed on Boxing Day but despite the 6-0 hammering at Brighton on April 29, Wolves have virtually secured their top-flight status.
Ahead of the meeting between strugglers Leicester and Everton on May 1, Wolves were eight points clear of the bottom three with four games left.
Wolves are considering the future of striker Diego Costa ahead of the end of the season
Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui has been impressed with Costa's attitude both on and off the pitch
Costa’s work ethic and fiercely competitive attitude in training has rubbed off on team-mates, helping raise standards from the listless final days under Bruno Lage.
Younger players – notably Brazilian midfielder Joao Gomes – have also praised Costa’s role in helping them settle into the English game.
Set against those benefits is the financial aspect: Costa is one of Wolves’ highest-paid players, collecting slightly less than top earners Joao Moutinho and Raul Jimenez, who are thought to be on about £100,000 a week.
Costa (middle) has played a more prominent role for Wolves since Lopetegui came to the club
Until Wolves are mathematically safe, Lopetegui and sporting director Matt Hobbs cannot act on their plans for next season and Costa’s salary would be a significant investment if he is to be only a bit-part player.
Wolves have scored 29 goals this season, with only Everton and Southampton managing fewer.
They will count on £44million forward Matheus Cunha to be more prolific next term in his first full season after joining from Atletico Madrid, while Sasa Kalajdzic must prove his fitness.
The Austrian joined Wolves from Stuttgart at the end of the summer 2022 transfer window but damage knee ligaments on his debut and has not played since.
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