Wolves have parted ways with manager Julen Lopetegui, and former Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil is likely to fill his shoes. O’Neil had previously kept Bournemouth in the Premier League last season before being replaced by Andoni Iraola.
Lopetegui, 56, had expressed his desire to leave the club, and both parties finally reached an agreement, accepting their differences and resolving to end his contract amicably. This decision comes just three days before the start of the new Premier League season; Wolves are set to play Manchester United next Monday.
The negotiations were held with respect and took place over recent weeks to allow the club to find a successor and Lopetegui to prepare the squad for the upcoming season. The final agreement was apparently made after a friendly match against Celtic last month.
Though several candidates were considered, 40-year-old O’Neil stood out and is expected to be officially announced as the new manager on Wednesday.
O’Neil managed to lead Bournemouth to a 15th-place finish in the previous season but was dismissed in June and replaced by Iraola, who had successfully led Rayo Vallecano to an 11th place finish in La Liga.
Spanish journalist Guillem Balague reported that Lopetegui was frustrated by the lack of signings this summer, despite promises of support to strengthen the squad. Having managed Wolves from the bottom of the table to a 13th-place finish, financial issues fueled rumors of his potential departure.
The club’s owners, Fosun, have stated they are not selling the club but must adhere to the Premier League’s financial fair play rules. This led to the sales of key players like Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez and restricted new signings to free agents like Matt Doherty.
Sporting director Matt Hobbs praised Lopetegui’s dedication and acknowledged the differences that led to the parting of ways. The pre-season efforts leave the squad in strong shape for the new season, providing a solid foundation for the incoming manager.
The departure of Lopetegui also includes his six-person backroom team. In a statement, he wished the club well and expressed gratitude for the opportunity, calling it an “honour to enjoy this adventure.”
Guillem Balague shed further light on Lopetegui’s frustration, highlighting how he felt the club had shifted expectations and failed to meet the commitments they had made to him. Despite having coached prominent teams like Spain and Real Madrid, Lopetegui felt the club was regressing.
The search for a new manager has been ongoing, and Lopetegui’s efforts in pre-season have prepared the team well, despite concerns over squad depth. As Wolves look ahead to the future, the fans and pundits await the official confirmation of O’Neil and the direction he will take the club in.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Wolves
Why has Julen Lopetegui left Wolves?
Lopetegui has left Wolves due to differences of opinion on certain key issues with the club management. The decision to part ways was amicable and followed extensive discussions.
Who is likely to replace Lopetegui as the new Wolves manager?
Former Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil is expected to replace Lopetegui and is likely to be confirmed as the new manager on Wednesday.
What did Spanish journalist Guillem Balague reveal about Lopetegui’s departure?
Guillem Balague revealed that Lopetegui was frustrated with the club for not allowing him to sign players, despite initial promises. Balague suggested that Lopetegui felt the club had moved the goalposts twice regarding their commitments to him.
What position did Wolves finish in the Premier League last season under Lopetegui?
Under Lopetegui, Wolves finished 13th in the Premier League last season.
How did the club’s financial situation affect its transfer decisions?
The club had to be cautious with their summer spending to comply with the Premier League’s financial fair play rules. This led to selling key players and restricting new signings to free agents.
What has been Gary O’Neil’s recent managerial achievement?
Gary O’Neil guided Bournemouth to Premier League safety last season with a 15th-place finish but was sacked in June.
Who are some key players that Wolves sold recently?
Wolves sold captain Ruben Neves to Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal for a record £47m and also allowed Mexican striker Raul Jimenez to join Fulham for £5m.