Wolves hopeful of appointing Lopetegui – club been without full-time manager for over a month

FPL360
By FPL360
Wolves hopeful of appointing Lopetegui – club been without full-time manager for over a month

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Lage sacked after 51 games 

This article was first published on October 3, but has since been updated with new information.

Wolverhampton Wanderers will be hoping to bring an end to their search for a new manager this week, which has now gone on for more than a month with little progress for the Premier League side. Wolves have been without a full-time head coach since they dismissed Bruno Lage at the start of October, who ended his run at the club with a points-per-game average of just 1.29. 

The club may have thought they had their man last week, when reports in England pointed to serious discussions with Queens Park Rangers manager Michael Beale, who only arrived at the London club in June of 2022 after being Steven Gerrard’s assistant at Rangers and Aston Villa. However, after a bright start at QPR which has seen the club march to the top of the English Championship table, Beale seems like a smart signing by Wolves. 

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Unfortunately, the young coach was also a little too ambitious for Wolves, with the Telegraph and the Athletic both reporting that Beale had turned down the opportunity to become the club’s next manager. “It’s 100% a dream of mine to manage in the Premier League. That’s not a secret. But it has to be the right opportunity, the right moment and the right club.” Beale said after his side’s 3-0 win over Cardiff City. Perhaps Wolves simply weren’t able to offer Beale what he was looking for. 

Lopetegui reinstalled as favourite for the job 

Indeed, the club’s search for a new manager has gone on so long that it seems as though Wolves have gone full circle and returned back to the man that was first linked with the job. According to Sky Sports, talks with the club’s initial No.1 target Julen Lopetegui reopened, despite the head coach reportedly turning down an offer last month. 

Lopetegui has been a free agent since he was dismissed by Sevilla in early October, but perhaps more notably he is also represented by agent Jorge Mendes, who has a close association with Wolves and represents a number of the club’s key players. Should the 56-year-old coach accept the job offer, he is likely to take on the role after the 2022 World Cup, with Steve Davis remaining in charge as interim head coach until the end of the year. 

Success hasn’t always followed investment 

Lage’s sacking was undoubtedly due to the club languishing in 18th place at the time, with just one win from their first eight games. A far cry from Wolves’ success under former manager Nuno Espírito Santo, who managed to not only win promotion to the English top-flight, but also bagged back-to-back seventh-place finishes in the Premier League. 

That, undoubtedly, is where Wolves’ hierarchy feel they belong. Since winning promotion in 2018, the club have spent no less than €491 million on new players – a figure that places them seventh among all clubs in English football. When we consider their total net spend – the amount they spent alongside income from player sales – they still sit relatively high in eighth place among all other clubs in England. Most notably, higher than Manchester City and Liverpool. And is perhaps where the club truly believes it belongs to be, as opposed to their tenth-place finish last season and the anguish of finishing in 13th the season before.


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