Wolves top managerial target Lopetegui leaves Sevilla as potential move to Molineux accelerates

Jason Soutar
Wolves target Julen Lopetegui acknowledges the fans

Sevilla have relieved Wolves target Julen Lopetegui of his duties following the La Liga side’s 4-1 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

Lopetegui was dismissed very shortly after his side’s heavy Champions League loss.

He spoke to the press afterwards and was appreciated by the home crowd following the final whistle.

“I have many mixed feelings. It’s hard to describe them,” he said in his post-match press conference.

“The first thing that comes to my head and my heart is gratitude towards my club, the city, the team’s fans, my players – and everybody else who works for Sevilla.

“We’ve lived through very nice things together and then there is the other sentiment of sadness for leaving a club I love, and I am sure I will get over this situation. Those are my feelings.”

The former Real Madrid boss leaves Sevilla a legend after guiding them to Europa League success in 2020.

He also led the club to three fourth-place finishes in La Liga and broke their record for most points in a season when they accumulated 77 points in 2020-21.

Things began to fall apart this year, however, although much of the club’s demise was not because of Lopetegui.

Following the sacking of Bruno Lage, the 56-year-old quickly emerged as one of the frontrunners to take over at Molineux.

Multiple reports say he is now their number-one choice to replace Lage.

Wolves call Mendes for Julen Lopetegui rather than 999 for an English firefighter

ABC Sevilla (via Sport Witness) have reported that Lopetegui has not become a villain at Sevilla and has now ‘found a new project in the Premier League’.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the project in question will be with Wolves.

And now The Athletic say the Premier League club are preparing to hold talks with Lopetegui this week.

The report states that Lopetegui’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has ‘considerable influence’ at Molineux.

The 56-year-old had actually agreed to join Wolves six years ago but was offered the chance to manage the Spanish national team at the 11th hour.

While Lopetegui has a terrific reputation, it is believed that Wolves will hold interviews with other candidates as the club’s board eyes a ‘thorough recruitment process’.

There won’t be a decision made until next week, so Saturday’s match at Chelsea will be managed by Under-21s coach James Collins and Under-18s manager Steve Davis.

Lopetegui is believed to be ‘keen’ to speak to Wolves and appears to be eager to get straight back into management.

Wolves are hopeful that is the case despite three stressful seasons in Seville.

If he is willing to take on the job it is expected that he will be the club’s top choice.

READ MORE: Premier League players destined to break into the starting XI this season – One per club