Jeff Shi cuts a very decisive figure at Wolves, a man with a very clear view of what he wants to achieve at the club. Speaking to the Express and Star, he touches on some of these decisions that have been made this season – including the involvement of player agent Jorge Mendes and future of forward Helder Costa.
Wolves, bought by the Fosun International investment group for £45 million last summer, find themselves in 15th place in the table on 51 points. this is no doubt a placing that is disappointing for the Shi, but understandable in the two-year promotion timeframe that he has quoted in another Express and Star article.
Speaking on the involvement of Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes, Shi was quick to reassure the Wolves faithful that there is nothing to be concerned about regarding his involvement. In the Express and Star, Shi is quoted as saying: “He’s an asset to us. Jorge is a good help and also one part of the whole project. I understand, it’s maybe a new thing to the club. Some fans will be worried about it, ‘an agent is influencing the club and it’s for the pocket of him’, but I can say…do you think Jorge really needs the money from Wolves? He wants to help us because of our relationship and he loves the club and Fosun.”
However, Shi is less than certain when speaking of the future of Wolves’ star striker Helder Costa, the Benfica forward that Mendes helped to bring to the club for a fee of around £13 million. Costa has scored 10 goals this season, and provided eight assists for teammates since his arrival at the club. Despite this display in front of goal, Shi refuses to rule out the fact that Costa may move on, should a big club come in with a suitably large fee for the 23-year-old Portuguese player.
On this, Shi said: “When we make the investment can you guarantee we can’t sell him? It’s not a guarantee. Sometimes maybe fans think it’s too easy and when we put the money into a player it’s like playing Football Manager…it’s not like that! It’s not a guaranteed thing…Of course I cannot say…if some club gives us a very good price…and also it’s good for Helder to have a bright future, maybe in some very good teams.”
Wolves will be hoping that Costa, who hasn’t featured for Wolves’ last two games due to an ankle injury, will be fit for April 14 when they entertain Brighton at Molyneux before a trip three days later to Elland Road to face Leeds United.