Mario Lemina completes £9m move from Nice to Wolves to bolster Julen Lopetegui’s midfield options

Mario Lemina completes the £9m move from Nice to Wolves, with Julen Lopetegui claiming the midfielder has “the profile to raise us” and help steer his side away from the Premier League’s relegation battle

Mario Lemina has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at Wolves after completing a £9million move from Nice.

Wolves had seen two offers rejected by the Ligue 1 side before reaching an agreement for the Gabonese international.

Lemina returns to the Premier League after making 74 appearances in the division during her spells at Southampton and Fulham.

Mario Lemina has completed a £9m move from Ligue 1 Nice to Wolves

Mario Lemina has completed a £9m move from Ligue 1 Nice to Wolves

The 29-year-old midfielder has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Molineux

The 29-year-old midfielder has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Molineux

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui believes the 29-year-old’s experience will be an asset as he seeks to steer his side away from the Premier League’s bottom three.

“Mario is a good player,” Lopetegui told the Wolves club website. “We know him, he wants to be here and he knows the English league.

“I think he has the profile to be a good player for us.

“He has the profile to help us improve and improve our performance in the next few games.

“We have a very big and difficult task ahead of us and of course we have to be ready.”

Lemina is expected to bring physical and technical ability to the heart of Wolves' midfield

Lemina is expected to bring physical and technical ability to the heart of Wolves’ midfield

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui had inquired about Lemina when he was in charge of Sevilla

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui had inquired about Lemina when he was in charge of Sevilla

Lemina spent four years at Southampton before joining Nice in the summer of 2021.

While at Saints, the 29-year-old has also had stints at Galatasaray and Fulham, and has also played for Juventus.

Wolves expected Lemina to bring physicality and technical ability to the heart of their midfield, with his arrival providing a boost following Boubacar Traore’s absence through injury for the next two months.

The transfer also includes another 12-month option.

Lopetegui has admitted more additions could be made in midfield, with Joao Moutinho also set to play on the touchline.

Lemina has previously played for both Southampton and Fulham in the Premier League

Lemina has previously played for both Southampton and Fulham in the Premier League

“The transfer window is open so we have to take advantage of that because we have problems with few players in this position,” he said.

“We also have problems with Bouba’s injury, so we need players in those positions. We have to be ready and now we have to level this situation.’

Lemina is the second new face at Molineux in January after the first loan of Matheus Cunha from Atletico Madrid.

Wolves are close to signing Brazilian prodigy Joao Gomes from Flamengo and talks are underway with Paris Saint-Germain over a deal for attacking midfielder Pablo Sarabia.

Lopetegui’s side currently sit 19th in the Premier League, a point behind 17th-placed West Ham.

The two sides meet in a crucial game at the bottom of the table on Saturday, with Hammers boss David Moyes also slamming Wolves’ pursuit of defender Craig Dawson ahead of the clash.

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Maureen Mackey

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