Wolves Julen Lopetegui rejection - 5 alternatives to take charge at Molineux
We take a look at five alternatives Wolves could appoint after Julen Lopetegui rejected the club.
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Wolverhampton Wanderers will not be appointing former Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui as Bruno Lage’s replacement at Molineux after the Spaniard rejected the club’s approach.
According to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague via BBC Sport, Lopetegui has turned down the chance to become the Old Gold’s new boss just one week after being dismissed by Sevilla.
If successful in their pursuit of Lopetegui, the appointment of the 56-year-old would’ve been regarded as a coup given his experience. He guided Sevilla to two consecutive fourth-place finishes over the last two seasons, and to Europa League victory in 2020, beating Inter Milan 3-2.
Wolves sit 18th in the Premier League after their opening nine games, winning once, drawing three times and losing five - including Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Under-21 manager Steve Davis, who was in the dugout on Saturday, has been placed in temporary charge while the club’s hierarchy search for Lage’s replacement, but we now know this won’t be ex-Real Madrid boss Lopetegui.
The latter was the bookies’ favourite to become the Old Gold’s next manager, however, there are several other names also being linked with the vacancy at Molineux, including Pedro Martins.
With that being said, let’s take a look at five alternatives to Lopetegui who Wolves could look to appoint after he rejected the club.
The 52-year-old has been out of work since August 1 following his departure from Olympiacos and is new favourite to replace Lage at Molineux. He won three consecutive league titles and one Greek Cup in almost four years in charge of the club.
Martins also have experience of managing in Portugal’s top flight and was runner-up in the Portuguese Cup with Vitoria Guimaraes in 2017 and Rio Ave three years prior.
The former Benfica midfielder is currently in charge of Sporting Lisbon following his appointment in March 2020. At only 37 years old, he already has an impressive CV having won five trophies in four years as a manager, including the Portuguese league and two Portuguese Cups.
The 44-year-old has been without a club since leaving Marseille last year after a disagreement with their board. He has previous experience of working in the Premier League having managed both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
Villas-Boas failed to win a trophy while in charge of either London club, but impressed in his early managerial career, winning the Europa League, Portuguese top flight and Portuguese Cup in the 2010-11 season.
The Dane is currently in charge of Bundesliga club Mainz having been appointed in January 2021. He guided them to a 12th-place after taking over midway through the 2020-21 campaign, then finished four places higher the following season.
Svensson’s team are 12th in the Bundesliga table after their opening nine league games, winning three, and drawing and losing the same number of matches.
The 51-year-old has been linked with a number of jobs since his dismissal from Burnley near the end of the last campaign. In his nine-and-a-half-year tenure at Turf Moor he was able to maintain their Premier League status for four seasons - after their second promotion to the top flight - before being sacked.
Whoever Wolves decide to appoint as their next manager will have a tough task on their hands given their poor form and lack of goal so far.
Only two of the five alternatives above have experience in the Premier League, something, in their current circumstance, would be a huge advantage coming into the role.
However, the only name who has previous experience of a relegation battle is Dyche. His knowledge of the league and current situation would arguably make him the ideal man for the job at Molineux.