While Kevin Mbabu was left at home for Wolsburg’s weekend trip across the border to Belgium – the out-of-favour right-back is not part of new coach Niko Kovac’s plans as talks with Fulham continue – there was not much chance that Vranckx would be staying behind too.
The pre-season clash with KV Mechelen was set up with the 19-year-old in mind, after all. He left the Jupiler League outfit last year while completing a £7 million move to the Bundesliga, and this pre-season reunion was a long-time in the planning.
What’s more, Vranckx is not the sort of character to rush things.
Will Aster Vranckx snub Everton and Forest?
According to The Athletic, Nottingham Forest have shown an interest. So too long-time admirers Everton. The Toffees missed out on Vranckx when he opted for Wolfsburg, and want a dynamic, box-to-box midfielder of his ilk to ease the burden on Abdoulaye Doucoure’s shoulders.
But, having spurned the advances of Liverpool and Manchester City a couple of seasons ago, the teenager is unlikely to demand a move away from the Volkswagen Arena when he still has so much left to learn.
“I hope to become and stay as a starter (in Wolfsburg’s XI),” says Vranckx, who has been labelled the second coming of Axel Witsel by some.
“We play with two number sixes and I’m mainly defensive. I have to organise things behind. I prefer to play more attacking. But, if that’s what the coach expects of me, I have to stay at the back.”
When pressed further on those transfer rumours, Vranckx gave a typically bullish response.
“I don’t care about these Premier League rumours,” he said. “It’s my agent who takes care of it.”
Wolfsburg supporters can maybe sleep a little easier tonight, of course. Nottingham Forest are closing in on the signing of another all-action midfielder; Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien.
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