Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo says Diogo Jota is “going to the right place” after confirming the player will join Premier League champions Liverpool.
Portugal forward Jota will move to Anfield for a fee potentially rising to £45million, with young defender Ki-Jana Hoever heading in the opposite direction.
Nuno believes the deal is positive for all parties and insists the 23-year-old is leaving Molineux with his blessing.
Diogo was really happy here but it's normal that players like to face new challenges in their careers so joining Liverpool I think is a good move for him.Nuno on Diogo Jota
“Diogo is amazing and everybody knows the relationship we built during four seasons,” said Nuno.
“Three seasons in particular here in Wolves what Diogo did for us is absolutely fantastic. I think things happen when naturally things should happen.
“I think Diogo is going to the right place and we wish him all the best, knowing that it will never be forgotten, especially by our fans, all the memorable moments that Diogo provided.
“As a club, we did the deal because we believe it us good for everybody.
“In this case you have to attend the will of the player. I know Diogo was really happy here but it’s normal that players like to face new challenges in their careers so joining Liverpool I think is a good move for him.”
Jota joined Wolves, initially on loan, from Atletico Madrid in 2017.
He helped the club win the Sky Bet Championship title in his first season and played his part in them becoming an established top-flight side since the move was made permanent, scoring 44 goals across 131 appearances in total.
Nuno hopes to swiftly recruit a direct replacement having already identified an unnamed target.
“We still have to adjust the squad. It’s clear that we need to balance our squad better,” he said.
“We already identified the targets, we know the player we want to bring and now we hope that our plan continues as it previously did.
“Jeff (Shi, Wolves’ executive chairman) knows who is our target and where we need to work on our squad.”
Liverpool, who signed Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich on Friday, have recouped around £9million as part of the transfer due to Hoever’s departure.
The deal for the 18-year-old Dutchman, who scored once in four appearances for the Reds, could potentially rise to around £13.5m, with Jurgen Klopp’s side holding a 15 per cent sell-on clause.
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Thank you to everyone at @liverpoolfc who has helped to play a part in my progression over the past 2 years on and off the pitch! It’s been an honour to represent such a big club and be around top players and staff every day. I’ll never forget the memories I made here ❤️ #LFC
Nuno believes Hoever is an exciting prospect.
“He’s a young player, a player that I think really has potential, has talent. And it’s up to us to take the best out of him,” said Nuno.
“First of all he has to integrate into the squad, integrate into the dynamics we want inside of the team but this is what’s happening – Diogo will join Liverpool and Ki will join us.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Ki and trying to help him become a better player.”