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Wolves handed chance to sign Barcelona and Denmark striker Martin Braithwaite as Catalans continue firesale while Premier League side search for Raul Jimenez competition after Mexican forward returned from skull injury

Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-07-19

Wolves have been offered Barcelona and Denmark forward Martin Braithwaite.

The 30-year-old scored seven goals in 42 games for the Catalans last season, though did manage to score three goals in six Champions League matches.

But Barcelona have bolstered their attack over the summer with the free signings of Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay from Manchester City and Lyon respectively, thereby significantly reducing Braithwaite's first-team opportunities.

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Wolves have been offered the chance to sign Barcelona's Danish forward Martin Braithwaite
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The 30-year-old (left) scored seven goals for the Catalans last season but is expected to leave

Wolves have been on the lookout for a striker to help provide competition for Raul Jimenez, who also just returned to first-team action for the Midlands club this week after being sidelined for nearly eight months with a fractured skull.

The Mexican forward has not featured competitively since picking up the serious injury against Arsenal on November 29, but did start the club's pre-season friendly at Crewe on Saturday.

Teenage striker Fabio Silva only scored four goals for Wolves last season as the back-up option to Jimenez, with new head coach Bruno Lage needing to find alternative firepower to the returning 30-year-old striker in his first season at Molineux.

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New Wolves boss Bruno Lage (left) welcomed back Raul Jimenez (right) to first-team action

Meanwhile, Spanish giants Barcelona need to make significant player sales this summer in order to reduce the wage bill so they can register new signings such as Aguero and Depay.

The club have exceeded LaLiga's strict salary cap limit so are not able to register any new signings until that total is brought back under an acceptable level.

Barcelona will also need to re-register club captain and talisman Lionel Messi, who is without a club at present but is widely expected to sign a new five-year deal at the Camp Nou later this summer, taking a 50 per cent wage cut in the process.

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One of the players set to be a significant departure from Barcelona this summer is striker Antoine Griezmann, who is in talks over a return to former club Atletico Madrid as part of a swap deal with midfielder Saul Niguez.

But a departure for Braithwaite, who has eight goals in 53 appearances for the Catalans since a controversial mid-season move from Leganes in 2020, would help reduce the wage bill even further.

The Spanish side announced a debt of £1billion in February, while left-back Junior Firpo has already been sold to Leeds for a £13million to cover costs.

Braithwaite has just finished representing Denmark at Euro 2020, scoring once for his country in the summer tournament - during the 4-0 last-16 win over Wales - as the Danes reached the semi-finals where they were knocked out by England.

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Braithwaite's goal record for Barcelona stands at eight goals in just over 50 matches

According to Spanish news outlet Marca, West Ham have also shown an interest in Braithwaite as David Moyes' side look for an alternative option to Michail Antonio up front.

Attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard has returned to parent club Manchester United, while the Hammers still have not found a striker replacement for Sebastian Haller, who jumped ship to Ajax last January.

The Hammers will take part in the Europa League group stages for the first time in the club's history this season.

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