For Wolves, Ruben Amorim, Julen Lopetegui and Pedro Martins are shortlisted as they search for a replacement for Bruno Lage

WOLVES powerbrokers made the decision to sack Bruno Lage within hours of Saturday’s dismal defeat at West Ham.

Then slept on it before telling the 46-year-old Portuguese in the morning that his services were no longer needed as they ended his 16-month stay in Molineux.

Sporting Lisbon manager Ruben Amorim is Wolves' number one target to replace Bruno Lage

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Sporting Lisbon manager Ruben Amorim is Wolves’ number one target to replace Bruno LagePhoto credit: Rex

The Wolves recruiting team – led by chairman Jeff Shi – will complete a 48-hour whirlwind in drawing up a preliminary list of contenders in a bid to halt the club’s relegation from the table.

Wolves’ dream ticket would be Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim, who has emerged as the bookmakers’ early 7/4 favorite for the Molineux job.

The 37-year-old is one of the hottest players in European football after ending Sporting’s 19-year wait to win the Portuguese title in their first full 2021-2022 season.

Amorim inspired the Lisbon giants to a record-breaking 32-game unbeaten streak en route to the title and continued that last season, guiding Sporting to the last 16 of the Champions League before being eliminated by Manchester City.

He has already beaten Tottenham in the Champions League this season, although two of his best players, Joao Paulinha and Matheus Nunes, were traded under him to Premier League clubs Fulham and, ironically, Wolves.

Despite the allure of joining forces with the big Portuguese colony of Nunes and Wolves in the Premier League, the former Manchester United and Chelsea target could feel he has bigger fish to fry.

He also comes with a £20m price tag – double the £10m Sporting paid to lure him out of Braga.

A cheaper option would be Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui who is close to losing his job.

The La Liga giants have been flirting with former boss and fan favorite Jorge Sampaoli after a poor start to the season.

Lopetegui’s time at Sevilla looks to be over, despite guiding the club to three Champions League qualifiers and winning the 2020 Europa League after beating Inter Milan in the final.

He was a target for Wolves before the decision was made to appoint Lage and still has admirers in the Molineux corridors of power.

Pedro Martins is another strong contender after the Portuguese coach was sacked by Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis despite winning a hat-trick at the titles for the Greek champions.

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Wolves are also targeting Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui whose job is in jeopardy

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Wolves are also targeting Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui whose job is in jeopardyPhoto credit: AFP

Gennaro Gattuso, former AC Milan and Napoli boss, is currently in charge at Valencia but would certainly instill a passion that many Wolves fans believe Lage failed to instill in his players.

Portuguese super agent Jorge Mendes is handling Gattuso and will be part of the recruitment process as he advises potential candidates, but the final decision rests with Wolves chairman Jeff Shi on behalf of the club’s Chinese owner Fosun.

Lage, 46, was doomed before the final whistle at West Ham as Wolves fans mocked their beleaguered boss and chanted ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ during the 2-0 defeat.

After that, star midfielder and Lage captain Ruben Neves seemed to hint that the players were equally confused by their manager’s tactics as Wolves have managed just one win in their last 15 Premier League games.

Lage replaced Nuno Espirito Santo in June 2021 and finished a respectable 10th in his debut season, but optimism dried up along with Wolves’ goals when the Portuguese tactician suffered a striker’s curse from which he never recovered.

Pedro Martins is also eyed by wolves after being sacked by Olympiacos

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Pedro Martins is also eyed by wolves after being sacked by OlympiacosPhoto credit: Getty

Raul Jimenez and Fabio Silva struggled and when Lage was allowed to spend £15million on Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic this summer, the killer suffered ligament damage in his knee on his debut.

Lage’s last dice roll was a desperate attempt to sign veteran striker Diego Costa, who made his first appearance since 2021 as a substitute against West Ham – but until then not even the fearsome frontman could save him.

Wolves chairman Jeff Shi said: “Bruno is an excellent coach, a hardworking and dedicated manager and a warm, wise and honest man.

“It has been a pleasure working with him and his staff throughout their time at Wolves, so it is with great sadness that we have to make a difficult decision.

“I honestly have no doubts about Bruno’s abilities and I’m sure he will find success elsewhere, but the form and performances of the team over the past few months mean we have no choice but to act.”

https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6351514/wolves-ruben-amorim-julen-lopetegui-pedro-martins/ For Wolves, Ruben Amorim, Julen Lopetegui and Pedro Martins are shortlisted as they search for a replacement for Bruno Lage

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