Vortex at the Wolves: Coach Lopetegui before the jump

Vortex at the Wolves: Coach Lopetegui before the jump

Next Monday (9 p.m., LIVE! on kicker) Wolverhampton Wanderers will start the 2023/24 Premier League season with an away game at Manchester United. But who will face Erik ten Hag for a handshake before the game is completely uncertain a few days beforehand. There are increasing signs that it will not be Julen Lopetegui.

As reported by the BBC and other reputable English media on Tuesday, the 56-year-old Spaniard is about to jump again after around seven months. Accordingly, the savior of the previous season is said to be frustrated by the economic situation at Wolves, which is severely restricting them in the summer transfer window.

A transfer plus is needed – and you can tell that too

In order to comply with the provisions of the financial fair play rules in the Premier League, the club is dependent on a transfer bonus and has been behaving like this so far: While captain Ruben Neves was sold to Al-Hilal for 55 million euros and Nathan Collins (for around 26 million euros to Brentford) or Raul Jimenez (to Fulham for around six million euros), so far only returnee Matt Doherty (Atletico) and substitute keeper Tom King (Northampton) have come – free of charge.

Last week, Wolves boss Jeff Shi explained the reluctance in a letter to the fans, among other things with significantly increased wage and transfer costs, but at the same time emphasized that “Fosun”, the Chinese club owner, was not thinking of selling.

Is Lopetegui’s frustration hurting the dressing room?

Lopetegui, who took Wolves from bottom just before Christmas and led them to 13th place with nine wins and four draws from 23 games, has repeatedly expressed his displeasure at the situation this summer. According to the Guardian, the club fears that the coach’s frustration could “damage morale in the dressing room”.

That is why those responsible have long been examining new options. The top favorite as Lopetegui’s successor is 40-year-old Gary O’Neil, who took over at AFC Bournemouth on an interim basis at the beginning of the previous season, then rose to become head coach, but at the end of the season despite the successful relegation battle for Andoni Iraola (formerly Rayo Vallecano) place had to do.


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