Sunday, October 1, 2023
HomeSportsO'Neil To Replace Lopetegui As Wolves Manager 

O’Neil To Replace Lopetegui As Wolves Manager 

Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui has left the club, with ex-Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil set to replace him.

The club have known for some time that Lopetegui, 56, wanted to leave.

Wolves said both parties had “accepted their differences of opinion on certain issues and agreed that an amicable end to his contract was the best solution”.

Spanish journalist Guillem Balague said Lopetegui was not allowed to sign any players this summer, after believing the squad would be strengthened.

Wolves announced the Spaniard’s departure three days before the Premier League season begins.

The club said talks had been “ongoing in recent weeks, held with the utmost respect and cordiality” to give the club time to work on finding a successor and allow Lopetegui and his staff to get the squad in good shape for the new season.

Several candidates were considered as Lopetegui’s replacement but 40-year-old O’Neil impressed the hierarchy.

O’Neil guided Bournemouth to Premier League safety last season with a 15th-place finish but was sacked in June and replaced by Andoni Iraola, who led Spanish side Rayo Vallecano to 11th in La Liga last season.

Wolves will play Manchester United on Monday in the opening fixture of their Premier League season.

Former Spain boss Lopetegui took over in November when Wolves were bottom of the Premier League table before guiding them to safety, but the club’s financial situation led to speculation earlier this summer that he could leave.

Sporting director Matt Hobbs recently said that Lopetegui was “committed” to the Molineux side, but fresh speculation about the Spaniard’s future began following the publication of chairman Jeff Shi’s open letter to fans.

Shi wrote that the club’s Chinese owners, Fosun, have no intention of selling the club, which finished 13th in the Premier League last season.

However, he stressed that Wolves must be cautious with their summer spending in order to meet the Premier League’s financial fair play rules.

According to FFP rules, the club must make a profit on player trading this summer to avoid exceeding the accumulated £105m loss over a three-year period, the maximum permitted.

They sold captain Ruben Neves to Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal for a club record £47m in June and also allowed Mexican striker Raul Jimenez join Fulham for £5m last month, with the only notable incoming signing being Republic of Ireland full-back Matt Doherty’s return as a free agent in July.



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