West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

West Ham launch ‘rich offer’ for new manager after scathing petition rocks Euro giant move

Julen Lopetegui, West Ham

West Ham face European competition for Julen Lopetegui

West Ham United appear to be back in the mix for free-agent manager Julen Lopetegui after fans at his prospective new club started a petition against his arrival, according to reports.

Lopetegui was last in charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers, though that spell did not last long. The Spaniard joined Wolves in November 2022 following the sacking of Bruno Lage and guided the West Midlands side to 13th in the Premier League last season.

However, tensions between Lopetegui and those above him at Wolves soon started to emerge. He became frustrated last summer when Wolves had to sell top players such as Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes and Nathan Collins and could not afford to replace them with big names.

Just days before the start of the current campaign, Lopetegui decided to leave Molineux, which forced the club to land Gary O’Neil as a replacement.

Lopetegui has since been offered a lucrative contract to head to the Saudi Pro League, though he knocked it back as he wants to manage a top club in Europe next.

The 57-year-old has also been tentatively linked with the Manchester United job, but Sir Jim Ratcliffe is currently eyeing other candidates.

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Lopetegui has recently emerged as the frontrunner to replace Stefano Pioli as AC Milan boss. As per Gazzetta dello Sport, Milan chiefs like the fact Lopetegui is good at working with young players.

Milan have also been impressed by Lopetegui’s CV, which includes spells as Real Madrid and Spain manager, even if they are relatively short.

West Ham given Julen Lopetegui hope

However, news of Milan’s talks with Lopetegui has not gone down well amongst the club’s fans. Supporters of the Serie A giants have started a ‘Nopetegui’ petition aimed at stopping the potential appointment.

Those fans feel Lopetegui has not done enough to establish himself at the very highest level. After all, he only managed Madrid for 14 games.

Sections of the Milan fanbase want the club to bring someone in with more Serie A experience, such as proven option Antonio Conte or exciting alternative Thiago Motta.

Concern surrounding Lopetegui’s move to Milan has put West Ham back in the frame. Gazzetta dello Sport add that the Irons have sent the former goalkeeper a ‘rich offer’ to become their next manager.

Lopetegui is currently prioritising a switch to Milan, but if that move is scuppered he will simply have to consider West Ham’s proposal.

The Irons, of course, are currently led by David Moyes. Under his guidance, West Ham have reached three consecutive European quarter-finals and even won the Europa Conference League last year.

But West Ham fans are split on whether Moyes’ contract – which expires this summer – should be extended. Some feel he has done more than enough to earn fresh terms, while others think a more exciting, attacking option should be brought in.

Should West Ham opt to change things up and land a new manager, then Lopetegui is one of their favoured options. But any such move will depend on Milan’s decisions over the coming weeks.

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