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Julen Lopetegui 'turns down Wolverhampton Wanderers offer'

Julen Lopetegui 'turns down Wolves offer'
© Reuters
Former Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui reportedly rejects the opportunity to become the new head coach of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Julen Lopetegui has reportedly rejected the opportunity to become the next head coach of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

At the start of October, Wolves made the decision to part ways with Bruno Lage with the club sitting in the Premier League relegation zone and having netted just three goals.

The development at Molineux coincided with the struggles of Lopetegui at Sevilla, who sacked their long-serving boss in the immediate aftermath of a Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund three days later.

Since then, it has been widely perceived that Lopetegui agreeing to move to Molineux would just be a matter of time ahead of Saturday's important fixture against Nottingham Forest.

Chairman Jeff Shi and super-agent Jorge Mendes travelled to Spain to hold discussions with the former Spain and Real Madrid manager at the start of the week.

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui reacts on February 17, 2022© Reuters

However, as first reported by Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, the 56-year-old has rejected an offer to replace Lage.

Lopetegui's father, who is 92, is currently unwell, and it has been decided that he will instead spend time with his family for the foreseeable future.

As quoted by BBC Sport, Balague said: "Conversations were very amicable and Wolves managed to put forward such an impressive case of a team that is accidentally towards the bottom of the table, but with a lot of potential and with players that will understand right away what Lopetegui could do with them.

"That made Lopetegui doubt [his refusal], but life decides for you sometimes. His dad, 92 and whom Lopetegui is very close to, deserves his attention.

Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui reacts on April 3, 2022© Reuters

"It is not a matter of tiredness as he recovers energies by working, and his staff were ready to follow him wherever he went after the intense but very successful time at Sevilla."

While Wolves had previously explored other candidates while long-term Lopetegui was still tied to Sevilla, the development is a blow to the West Midlands outfit as they bid to start a new era.

Pedro Martins, formerly of Olympiacos and who came close to moving to Hull City as recently as last week, is now the favourite with many bookmakers.

Wolves owners Fosun International will want to move fast to secure an appointment with games against Forest and Crystal Palace to be played over the next week.

Steve Davis and James Collins, who usually oversee Under-18 and Under-21 matters, are increasingly likely to remain in charge for the former of those fixtures at the weekend.

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