Wolves in talks to terminate Julen Lopetegui’s contract- Gary O’Neil favourite to replace him

As per Sky Sports News, Wolves are in talks with Julen Lopetegui’s to mutually terminate his contract- with former Bournemouth coach Gary O’Neil favourite to replace him.

The Spanish head coach has been critical of the club’s transfer dealings over the summer and has recently expressed his frustrations over the club’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) restrictions.

As a result, both the club and the manager are now undergoing talks to terminate his deal- which has two years remaining-and Wolves may be looking for a new manager just six days before the new season begins; with O’Neil attracting interest as a free agent following an impressive first season in management for The Cherries last season. The English manager unexpectedly secured the South Coast side side survival and finished 14th in their first season back in the English top flight, but was let go and replaced by Andoni Iraola earlier this summer.

As for Lopetegui, The 2019/20 Europa League winner looks set to depart having only joined the Midlands side last November, leading them to a 13th place finish in the league table, despite taking over when the club were rock bottom and four points adrift from safety.

Despite this finish, rumours of the 56-year-olds potential departure from England have been circulating since the end of last season. These rumours seemed to be solved in June however, when it was reported that he was set to stay on at the side despite his frustrations– going as far as confirming to senior club officials that he was planning ahead of next season and was fully committed to managing the club.

The Spaniard’s frustrations are due to Wolves’ FFP issues, which mean they have been required to reduce their wage bill and sell players before bringing anyone in this summer- thus resulting in several key members of the squad already having departed.

Rúben Neves has joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal for a club record sale of €55m, Raúl Jiménez has moved to Fulham for €6m, whilst Nathan Collins has signed for Brentford for €26m, having only joined the side just last year. Furthermore, both Ryan Giles and Conor Coady have been sold for a combined fee of around €15m to Luton Town and Leicester City respectively- after both players spent the previous season out on loan.

As for incomings, Matt Doherty is the only new arrival so far at the Molineux, returning to the club on a free transfer after moving to Tottenham three years ago. Meanwhile, the loans of both Boubacar Traoré and Matheus Cunha have been converted into permanent moves- with the obligation to buy inserted in Cunha’s contract seeing him sign for a club-record fee of €50m, after he scored just two goals in 17 Premier League appearances during his six-month loan from Atlético Madrid last season.

Finally, whether it be with Lopetegui or O’Neil, Wolves will kick-off their new season when they face Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United at Old Trafford on Monday 14 August.

Travis Levison | Get Football

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