JULEN LOPETEGUI will step down as Sevilla head coach after Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund.
And take a big step to become the next boss of the Wolves.
According to reports from Spain, the 56-year-old former Spain and Real Madrid coach will take charge of Sevilla for the 170th and final time tonight after Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli agreed to replace him.
The former Marseille manager has been poached by Sevilla’s all-powerful sporting director Monchi, who plans to unveil Sampaoli as Lopetegui’s replacement on Thursday after ties with his current manager collapsed.
But as one door closes another opens for Lopetegui, who is already favorite to replace Bruno Lage at Wolves and will soon have the added appeal of being stripped of any compensation cost.
It is looking increasingly likely that Wolves will now target Lopetegui for the second time, six years after he almost became Fosun’s first head coach at Molineux.
On that occasion he was snatched away in the 11th hour to manage Spain national team but he has never lost his hunger to prove himself in the Premier League.
His solid organizational skills will appeal to Wolves, who have no intention of returning to the Championship and are determined to avoid a relegation battle.
Lopetegui is the high-quality, sure pair of hands that Wolves bosses are yearning for, having guided Sevilla to three top-four finishes in Spain in his three years in charge.
He also defeated Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves in the 2020 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals en route to lifting the trophy.
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Curiously, Lopetegui will be entrusted with Seville’s Champions League fate on Wednesday, with the ax ready to fall just after the final whistle.
When asked about his fragile future, Lopetegui said: “Out of respect for my primary responsibility, I will not express my opinion on what has happened in the last few months.
“I prefer to keep it my responsibility to coach a great club like Sevilla.
“I will continue to be true to all of this because I have to live up to the demands of the club and the fans, who deserve the best from everyone in charge of this club.
“It was 169 games and tomorrow we will do it again.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6368207/wolves-julen-lopetegui-sevilla-jorge-sampaoli/ Wolves have given a huge boost in their search for a new manager as Julen Lopetegui is set to be replaced by Jorge Sampaoli at Sevilla