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O’Neil set to join Wolves as manager as Lopetegui heads for the exit door

Julen Lopetegui has left Wolverhampton Wanderers after nine months in charge, and Gary O’Neil will replace him as manager.

Lopetegui joined the Midlands club in November when they were at the bottom of the Premier League table and guided them to a 13th-place finish. 

Wolves struggled to create clear-cut chances, but the Spaniard made them resolute at the back. They were tactically excellent and controlled their opponents.

However, Wolves have face challenged in their recruitment. Matt Doherty is their solitary summer signing, although they made Matheus Cunha’s transfer from Atletico Madrid permanent for over £35 million.

They lost captain Ruben Neves as he joined Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal for a club-record £47 million in June. 

Striker Raul Jimenez moved to Fulham for £5m, while Nathan Collins left for Brentford for £23m in July. 

Despite pulling in big money from sales, they have not sought reinforcements in the market, casting a shadow over Molineux. 

This silence in the transfer window left Lopetegui disgruntled, and he decided to leave the club he joined just before the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Wolves sporting director Matt Hobbs addressed the inevitable farewell, acknowledging differing viewpoints that led to this parting of ways. 

Wolves have announced Lopetegui’s exit only six days before they kick off against Manchester United on Monday.

There were several top contenders for the Wolves job, but O’Neil impressed the top brass.

During his stint at Bournemouth, he steered the club to safety with a commendable 15th-place finish last season. 

However, they sacked him to bring in Andoni Iraola from Rayo Vallecano. Despite his dismissal, O’Neil’s track record captured the attention of Wolves’ hierarchy.

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