West Ham agree deal with Lopetegui

Daily News
9 Min Read
West Ham agree deal with Lopetegui

West Ham have agreed a deal in principle with Julen Lopetegui to take over from David Moyes as manager.

Lopetegui has been out of work since leaving Wolves three days before the start of the 2023/24 season but has continued to live in England in a bid to return to Premier League management.

The 57-year-old, who has also managed Porto, Spain, Real Madrid and Sevilla throughout an illustrious coaching career, looks set to take charge at the London Stadium at the end of the season after Moyes’ expected departure.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win against West Ham in the Premier League

Moyes is out of contract this summer and has faced questions about his future throughout this season. That speculation has only increased in recent months with West Ham having won just one of their previous nine Premier League games – their latest result being a 5-0 thrashing by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

After the game, Moyes was asked whether he had any frustration about the club’s links with other managers, he said: “I’ll talk to the board at the end of the season. We’ll do that then.”

How did Lopetegui perform at Wolves?

Lopetegui was appointed Wolves manager in November 2022 with the Molineux club bottom of the league before leading them to 10 wins in his 27 games and a 13th-place finish — eight points and five places above the relegation zone.

He added: “I’m the manager, I take ownership, but some of the players have to do that too. I feel bad for the fans, I don’t normally have teams who come and get beaten like this.

“But we’re lacking some of the ingredients – mental toughness, leadership to not get hammered like we have been several times. I can only say I’m really sorry for the way the game went.”

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Clinton Morrison and Jamie O’Hara don’t hold back with their criticism as they lay in to West Ham for their first half performance at Chelsea

It’s understood West Ham’s agreement with Lopetegui would see him take over as a head coach, as opposed to the role Moyes holds as manager.

If Moyes is to be replaced, the head coach would work closely under technical director Tim Steidten – who will have more control over the recruitment.

What other roles has Lopetegui undertaken?

Lopetegui took charge of Porto in May 2014, guiding them to the Champions League quarter-final in his first season. He failed to win any silverware, however, and was sacked midway through the following campaign.

Lopetegui was then manager of the Spain national team, guiding them on a 20-match unbeaten run before being sacked on the eve of the 2018 World Cup after Real Madrid announced they had agreed a deal to appoint him for the 2018/19 campaign.

He was subsequently dismissed after just 14 games in charge of Real Madrid — winning six and losing six at the helm — before joining Sevilla in July 2019, with whom he won the Europa League in 2020 and guided them to three top-four finishes in LaLiga.

When Moyes was reappointed in 2019, it was under the proviso that he would have a big say in recruitment and transfers.

But with Steidten’s appointment last summer, West Ham are moving towards a more European-based model.

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Moyes guided the club to their first European trophy since 1965 when they beat Fiorentina to lift the Europa Conference League last season.

This campaign, West Ham reached the Europa League quarter-finals and are currently ninth in the Premier League.

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Sky Sports’ Danyal Khan and Ron Walker discuss the big talking points after Chelsea’s 5-0 victory over West Ham at Stamford Bridge

‘I’m just starting here’ – Lopetegui on Premier League

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In an interview with Sky Sports in December, former Wolves boss Lopetegui revealed he is targeting a return to the Premier League

Speaking to Sky Sports News reporter Danyal Khan in December, Lopetegui explained why he feels he has unfinished business in the Premier League and revealed he has met the PFA, LMA and PGMOL during his time off in a bid to prepare himself for a return to England’s top division.

“It’s why I’ve said no to different countries and different situations because I would like to stay here in England. I feel like our team here is just starting and we want to achieve our dreams.” Lopetegui said at the time.

“The way the country lives football here is special – it’s the best league in the world, the most competitive league in the world, the best environment for the players, coaches and fans too.”

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Warnock: Classless from West Ham

Image: Moyes is out of contract at West Ham this summer

Former Premier League defender Stephen Warnock on Sky Sports News:

“Show some class, West Ham. If this is the case, then make a decision on the manager and let him know one way or the other.

“If you’re going around trying to find other managers and you’ve sounded someone out and agreed a deal with them, then get rid of David Moyes and tell him his time’s up.

“At least show him some respect, don’t put the pressure on him to make a decision. It’s really classless from West Ham.”

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