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Bruno Lage has previously been assistant manager at Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea - PA

Bruno Lage has previously been assistant manager at Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea – PA

Wolves are set to appoint Bruno Lage as their new head coach, as the Premier League club prepare for a new chapter after Nuno Espirito Santo.

Lage is close to being confirmed as Nuno’s successor after his work permit was ratified by the Football Association on Wednesday, with Wolves determined to have him in place to assess the squad before pre-season.

It is understood that Lage has been highly recommended to Wolves owners Fosun by ‘super-agent’ Jorge Mendes, who has close ties with the Premier League club through his agency Gestifute.

Lage is a free agent after his contract with Benfica was terminated last July and Mendes has been determined to land him a job in English football ever since.

It is understood that Lage was the club’s No 1 choice and despite Wolves putting together a shortlist, it was felt almost inevitable that he would land the role. The work permit hearing on Wednesday is viewed as a formality.

Confirmation from Wolves is not believed to be imminent, with contracts still to be finalised and Lage’s backroom staff also requiring work permit approval, but no hurdles are anticipated.

Lage, 45, will replace Nuno, who departed Molineux by mutual agreement last month, shortly before their final game of the season against Manchester United.

What Lage will bring to the Premier League

He was previously a winner of the Primeira Liga’s best coach award, in the 2018/19 season, after guiding Benfica to the title with a 94 per cent winning percentage.

In that season, Benfica also scored 103 goals and it is the attack-minded football he became renowned for that has attracted Wolves.

There were concerns over performances and the newly introduced style of play in Nuno’s final season, and Wolves believe Lage, a former winger in his playing days, will provide entertainment

Lage has also established a fine reputation working with younger players, with Ruben Dias – now at Manchester City – and Joao Felix both flourishing under his guidance at Benfica.

He will inherit a dressing room with a strong Portuguese contingent already at the club, with the likes of Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves, Pedro Neto, Rui Patricio, Nelson Semedo, Daniel Podence and Fabio Silva.

Lage has to make a number of decisions on his squad before pre-season, with the club in negotiations with French club Angers over the future of Rayan Ait-Nouri.

The teenage left-back spent last season on loan at Wolves and the club has an option to make his move permanent for around £20 million.

Wolves have a similar arrangement for Vitinha, the Portugal under-21 international who joined on loan from Porto, but Willian Jose, the striker who signed from Real Sociedad in January, will return to Spain.