Bruno Lage outlined plans to make Morgan Gibbs-White part of the Wolverhampton Wanderers first team in conversations this week.
Gibbs-White’s superb loan campaign with Sheffield United, which saw him score 12 times in 37 appearances, ended in heartbreak on Tuesday as the Blades were beaten in the play-off semi-final by Nottingham Forest. The young Wolves terribly missed the decisive penalty in a shootout defeat at the City Ground.
The England Under-21 starlet has been attracting attention in the Championship and AC Milan have reportedly expressed an interest in his services. But Gibbs-White will now return to Wolves, where Lage awaits him with open arms.
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When asked if he would give Gibbs-White a chance to claim his pre-season, Lage replied: “He already knows because I’ve been talking to him about it for the past (few) days.”
Lage wanted Gibbs-White to return to Wolves in January and replace outgoing Adama Traore in his first team. After seeing an equally successful loan spell at Swansea City frustratingly cut short at this time last year, Gibbs-White politely declined Lage’s invitation and finished the job at Bramall Lane.
“I was very happy with Morgan,” added Lage. “I won’t treat him like a child because now he’s a professional and he’s a man. When Hwang (Hee-chan) arrived, he realized he might not have the space. to play, so he was loaned out and did a fantastic job.
“In January, I did everything to convince him to stay here. It was very clear and I gave him space and time to think about it. At the end of January, we spoke and between him, Scott (Sellars ) and me, we decided that he will finish the season there, then we will see.
“If I want him in January, I still want him here because he can be an important player for the club. He’s one of the players who comes from the academy and I know that’s so important for the club. club to have this.
“I’m a foreigner and we have a lot of foreign players but it’s important for the club to have academy and UK born players because they like Wolves more than me because they grew up here. I’ve only been here a year and love being here, but the way players like Morgan love the club is different.