Julen Lopetegui part ways with Wolves


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”.

Wolves announced the Spaniard’s departure three days before the Premier League season begins – they face Manchester United on Monday.

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 and is expected to be confirmed as the new manager on Wednesday.

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

Former Spain boss Lopetegui took over in November when Wolves were bottom of the Premier League table before guiding them to 13th place, but the club’s financial situation led to speculation earlier this summer that he could leave.

In an open letter to fans, chairman Jeff Shi said the club’s Chinese owners, Fosun, have no intention of selling the club but 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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