Former Wolves, Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui ‘accepts’ West Ham offer to succeed David Moyes

Joe Williams
West Ham manager target Julen Lopetegui
Julen Lopetegui is set to become the new Hammers boss.

Former Wolves and Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has “accepted” an offer from West Ham to succeed David Moyes at the end of the season, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

There were already reports that the club are lining up former Wolves boss Lopetegui to replace the 61-year-old, whose contract is up at the end of the season, and his cause was not helped by a 5-0 defeat at Chelsea in which their slim hopes of qualifying for Europe for a fourth straight season were effectively ended.

Moyes, who saw his team concede five goals for the second Premier League away game in a row, having gone down 5-2 at Crystal Palace on April 21, is set to hold talks with the board over his future after the Hammers’ final league match on May 19.

“Not good,” he said of his team’s display in west London. “Lacking toughness, leadership, mental toughness. That’s two games we’ve come away where we’ve conceded five.

“The manager will always take the responsibility, that’s what happens when you do this job. You have to prepare them, set them up.

“But somewhere along the line the players have to take responsibility for doing their jobs and being hard to play against, and being aggressive and competitive. I question if we were all that in the first half.”

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However, transfer expert Romano has now revealed that the Spaniard has now “agreed terms” to take over at West Ham with the former Wovles boss “ready to proceed to formal stages”.

Romano wrote on X: “Julen Lopetegui has agreed terms with West Ham to become new head coach replacing David Moyes from next season. Lopetegui has accepted #WHUFC proposal, ready to proceed to formal stages. Details being finalised then contracts will be signed but agreement in place.”

Long before half-time in their defeat to Chelsea, West Ham looked a beaten side, standing off Chelsea and allowing their forward players all the space they needed to pick their way through and plunder Alphonse Areola’s goal.

Cole Palmer scored the first, his 21st of the season in the league, capitalising when Kurt Zouma’s half-clearance landed at his feet, before Conor Gallagher volleyed brilliantly into the corner from a loose ball.

Noni Madueke nodded in the third, reacting quickest at the back post after Thiago Silva’s header flashed across goal from a corner.

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And he passed up the chance to add to his personal tally when he unselfishly squared for Nicolas Jackson to tap in two minutes into the second half, as West Ham’s torrid afternoon showed no sign of easing.

They were unlucky not to register at least a consolation. It was an indictment of their misfortune that Jarrod Bowen struck the crossbar not once but three times, but it would not have substantially altered the feeling around this most comprehensive defeat.

Jackson completed their humiliation with his second late on to leave Moyes’ situation looking increasingly uncertain.

Moyes added: “Too many poor things within the game. It’s happened several times this season, which I’ve certainly not enjoyed. I didn’t enjoy today at all.

“Players not in positions, running out of position and opening up to easily. I thought the second half we actually made it harder for them to score, but we gave away two ridiculous goals in the second half.”