Wolves make Julen Lopetegui their top managerial target

Julen Lopetegui
(Image credit: Getty)

Wolverhampton Wanderers (opens in new tab) are believed to be closing in on a deal to make Julen Lopetegui their next manager.

According to BBC Sport (opens in new tab), chairman Jeff Shi has flown out to Spain to meet Lopetegui and discuss the vacancy in person.

The 56-year-old has an impressive CV and was most recently in charge of Sevilla (opens in new tab), who he led to three consecutive fourth-place finishes in La Liga.

They also won the Europa League in 2020, beating Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan (opens in new tab) 3-2 in a pulsating final that was decided by a Romelu Lukaku own goal.

But a poor start to the current season, with six losses in Sevilla’s first 10 games in all competitions, ultimately cost Lopetegui his job.

He was sacked on Wednesday following a humbling 4-1 defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund (opens in new tab) in the Champions League group stage.

Wolves are keen to install Lopetegui as their new manager having parted company with Bruno Lage eight days ago.

Their poor form from the end of last season showed little sign of improving, with goals once more in short supply.

After Saturday’s 3-0 defeat away to Chelsea they are the Premier League’s lowest scorers by a considerable margin, with just three goals in eight games.

A former goalkeeper, who earned one international cap for Spain (opens in new tab), Lopetegui spent several years coaching his country’s youth teams.

In 2014, he was appointed as the manager of Porto (opens in new tab), leading them to the Champions League quarter-finals, but he failed to bring home any silverware.

Despite being interviewed for the Wolves role in 2016, he took over the Spanish national team instead and they qualified for the World Cup in impressive fashion.

However, the announcement that Lopetegui would take charge of Real Madrid (opens in new tab) at the end of the tournament led to him being replaced by Fernando Hierro before it even started.

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Sean Cole
Writer

Sean Cole is a freelance journalist. He has written for FourFourTwo, BBC Sport and When Saturday Comes among others. A Birmingham City supporter and staunch Nikola Zigic advocate, he once scored a hat-trick at St. Andrew’s (in a half-time game). He also has far too many football shirts and spends far too much time reading the Wikipedia pages of obscure players.