Wolves: Gary O’Neil could replace Julen Lopetegui
Lopetegui’s future at Molineux is hanging in the balance.
Wolverhampton Wanderers could now look to appoint Gary O’Neil to replace Julen Lopetegui, with the manager’s future at Molineux hanging in the balance, according to a recent report from The Guardian.
Is Julen Lopetegui leaving Wolves?
The Guardian have now reported that Wolves have started to prepare for life after Lopetegui, with the manager’s future in extreme doubt just days before the start of the new Premier League season.
The Old Gold come kick off the campaign away against Manchester United on Monday night, and their preparations for such a tough game are likely to have been significantly hindered by the uncertainty surrounding their manager’s future.
It is now being reported that the Spaniard is expected to reach a settlement with the club for his departure, having repeatedly voiced his unhappiness about the lack of his investment this summer, due to the financial fair play constraints in place.
As such, the Wolves hierarchy have now sounded out potential successors to the 56-year-old, and they held positive talks with O’Neil last week, meaning he is now the club’s number one target to replace their outgoing manager.
The 40-year-old has been out of work since being sacked by AFC Bournemouth in the summer, but he could be set to have another crack at Premier League football, if Lopetegui’s departure is finalised.
The current Wolves boss is set to take training this afternoon, but he is now poised to leave the club in the very near future.
Is Gary O’Neil taking over at Wolves?
At the moment, the former Bournemouth boss appears to be the sole contender to replace Lopetegui, with no other managers being linked with the job, and the Old Gold hierarchy will undoubtedly be keen to resolve the current turmoil before the new season.
As such, it would not be a surprise to see O’Neil in the dugout for the game against Man United next Monday night, and there are indications that he could be a solid appointment, given the impact he made at Bournemouth last season.
After taking over from Scott Parker following a 9-0 loss away against Liverpool, the Beckenham-born manager went on a run of seven wins from nine games during the latter stages of the season, which ultimately kept them up, very much against the odds.
As a result of the remarkable turnaround in form the former Liverpool coach instigated, Jamie Carragher suggested he was in the running for manager of the season, lauding him as a “brave” and “proactive” coach, who is not scared to make changes to his side.
Carragher also highlights that Bournemouth were tied with Arsenal for most wins after being behind at half-time in the Premier League last season, as a result of the tactical changes and substitutions the Englishman decided to make.
Of course, the situation surrounding Lopetegui is not ideal just days before the new season is set to begin, and there may be some concerns over O’Neil’s lack of experience, but he could end up being a very shrewd appointment for Wolves.