Wolves boss Dean Saunders today insisted there would have to be a "cut-off point" for bids coming in for players on tomorrow’s transfer deadline day – to allow the team to prepare properly for the trip to Leicester.
The live screening by Sky Sports of the trip to the King Power Stadium has meant the fixture has been brought forward to tomorrow, allowing barely an hour after the end of the game before the deadline slams shut at 11pm.
Saunders has revealed Wolves have already turned down bids for Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Stephen Ward, and have had interest in “four or five” other players as well, including from the Premier League.
While insisting he doesn’t want to sell anyone – particularly Ebanks-Blake and Ward – the boss is well aware that every player has his price.
But in that event he would want time to ensure bringing in replacements and will not want to be distracted ahead of tomorrow night’s big game.
“It’s a limited market. There are lots of waifs and strays.
“With someone like Sylvan I’m hoping there are no more developments before the deadline and that it will be a statement of intent from the club that we need to keep him at the club.
“It’s getting closer and closer to the deadline – that’s the problem.
“I can’t do anything – if a club comes in with a ridiculous offer for him, I’ve got a list of players to replace him but they might not come or they might have gone somewhere else.
“So I’d rather the window shut to be honest.
“We’re not going to leave ourselves open.
“It makes it harder for me right now because I’m sitting here right now and if I get a phone call from Jez saying ‘we’ve had an offer for him’ and I’ve got to go back to the contingency plan, but that list is getting shorter by the day as well because those players aren’t hanging on waiting – they will move on.
“So the nearer we get the worse it is because I’ve got a feeling that we’ll get a couple of calls at the last minute that we’ll have to say 'no' to.
“I’ll speak to Jez, but we’ll have a deadline somewhere where we’ll concentrate solely on the game after a certain cut-off point.
“We’ll get to a point where we’ll have to say ‘no’ to any offers because at the moment, I’m not 100 per cent sure what our team is going to be tomorrow - and that’s the difficult bit.”
Victories for Bristol City and Barnsley last night leaves Wolves only five points above the npower Championship relegation zone, intensifying the need for some positive results to move away from the lower reaches of the table.
And that is why Saunders would also like to add to the squad before tomorrow night’s deadline, with that search continuing.
“We’re still not safe in the league,” he said.
“We’re trying to do something – I’m not saying we’re not going to sign anyone.
“I’m trying to do something as we speak – Jez is getting on with it and if it happens, it will give us a bit of a lift.”
The manager meanwhile has revealed that Richard Stearmans longer term future will be decided in the summer after he joined Ipswich on loan until the end of the season.
With Wolves being well-off for competition in the right back and centre back areas, Stearman’s desire for first team football saw him make the temporary move to Portman Road.
Saunders now plans to keep an eye on his performances with a view to making further assessment when he returns for pre-season.
“I’ve said to him that I haven’t had a chance to work with him for very long but I’ve got about six players who can play right back,” the boss explains.
“And Richard needs to play some games as he’s not played for a long time.
“I just felt it was fair and it’s a salary off the wage bill.
“It’s different on the other flank because we’ve only got Wardy on that side, but it felt like we were overloaded on the right side of the pitch.
“I’ve told him to get some games in and I’ll watch him play for Ipswich and I’ll make a decision on him in the summer.
“I’ve told him to be prepared to come back here in pre-season.”