Wolves to step up Julen Lopetegui pursuit after Sevilla sacking

  • Wolves hopeful Lopetegui will replace Bruno Lage as manager
  • Club’s owner Fosun wanted him when it took over club in 2016

Wolves are poised to advance talks with Julen Lopetegui regarding their managerial vacancy after his sacking by Sevilla, with the former Spain and Real Madrid coach in line to be Bruno Lage’s successor. The Wolves hierarchy have revived their longstanding interest in Lopetegui and are hopeful of appointing the 56-year-old.

Lopetegui was dismissed immediately after Sevilla’s 4-1 home defeat by Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday and said his goodbyes to supporters on the pitch. Wolves plan to ramp up discussions in the coming days and, significantly, they will not have to pay compensation.

Lopetegui was the first choice of Fosun, Wolves’ owner, to become manager when it took control in 2016, when the club were in the Championship, but he accepted an offer to become Spain’s coach. Wolves appointed Nuno Espírito Santo, who led the club to promotion and successive seventh-placed finishes in the Premier League.

Lopetegui, like Nuno and Lage, is a client of the super-agent Jorge Mendes, who is a big influence at Molineux, and he is keen on a move to England. Several Wolves players have ties to Mendes’s Gestifute agency. Wolves did not pursue tentative interest in the former Olympiakos coach Pedro Martins, who is poised to be appointed as Hull’s manager.

Wolves, who slipped into the relegation zone after a 2-0 defeat at West Ham, visit Chelsea on Saturday with the development coaches Steve Davis, a former manager at Crewe and Leyton Orient, and James Collins in line to lead the team after taking training this week.

Wolves have won one of their opening eight league games, scoring only three goals.

Sevilla have hired Jorge Sampaoli as Lopetegui’s successor on a contract to the end of next season.


Ben Fisher

The GuardianTramp

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