Julen Lopetegui out as Wolverhampton manager days before EPL season

Julen Lopetegui left his position as Wolverhampton manager on Tuesday after nine months in charge and less than a week before the start of the Premier League season.

The former Spain and Real Madrid coach was reportedly unhappy with the club’s financial situation. Wolves and Lopetegui “have reached an agreement to part ways,” the club said in a statement.

The Spaniard took charge in November with the team in last place in the league and guided Wolves comfortably to safety and a 13th-place finish.

“However, the head coach and club acknowledged and accepted their differences of opinion on certain issues and agreed that an amicable end to his contract was the best solution for all parties,” the club said.

Wolverhampton is reportedly set to hire Gary O’Neil, who departed Bournemouth during the offseason, as a replacement.

“Talks have been ongoing in recent weeks, held with the utmost respect and cordiality, affording the club time and space to begin work on finding a successor, while also ensuring that Julen and his backroom staff could continue their planned preparation to ensure the playing squad would be in the best possible condition for the start of the Premier League season,” the team said.

Wolverhampton opens its season at Manchester United next Monday.

“On behalf of everyone at the club, I’d like to thank Julen and his staff for their dedication and hard work during their time at the football club,” sporting director Matt Hobbs said. “They were brought in with the primary aim of keeping the club in the Premier League last season, an objective which they achieved with games to spare.”

The club’s statement included comments from Lopetegui, who thanked the front office, the players and fans.

“I wish Wolves and everybody at the club the very best of luck for the future, and thank them for the opportunity granted at the time to take charge of this wonderful club,” he said.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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