Premier League • England

Incoming new Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui planning to make Real Madrid striker first Molineux signing

Julen Lopetegui head coach of Sevilla FC during the spanish La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and Sevilla FC at RCDE Stadium

Wolves are closing on the appointment of Julen Lopetegui as their new manager after a fresh round of talks saw the Spaniard close on an agreement and hand the Molineux club a list of prospective transfer targets.

The Old Gold have operated without a permanent manager since Bruno Lage was fired on October 3, with Steve Davis in caretaker charge. Indeed, Wolves have interviewed a number of potential candidates for the vacancy, offering the job to Michael Beale.

However, TEAMtalk was exclusively able to reveal why the QPR boss turned his back on the opportunity.

The Molineux men had turned to Beale after initially approaching Lopetegui. However, having just been fired by Sevilla, together with the poor health of his father, the 56-year-old declined the offer.

And after failing to convince Beale, Wolves decided to leave Davis in charge until the turn of the year.

That said, results have failed to improve under Davis’ watchful eye. Three losses in five games leaves Wolves languishing in 19th – and a lack of goals remains a constant worry.

That has prompted Wolves to try again – and now a variety of sources claim an agreement is close to being reached.

And Lopetegui, who is represented by close Wolves associate Jorge Mendes, is reportedly set to sign an initial two-and-a-half-year deal.

His appointment is likely to be announced shortly if all goes to plan. However, the Spaniard is unlikely to move to the Midlands until after the World Cup finals, with Davis remaining in charge for the club’s final three games before the break.

Lopetegui hands Wolves his transfer list – with Real star the top target

Davis will hope to add to his one win so far. Next on the horizon is a home date with Brighton on Saturday, before they host Leeds in the Carabao Cup.

They then face a daunting clash against Premier League leaders Arsenal in their final game before the break.

Per reports, Lopetegui will be afforded a handsome transfer budget to turn around Wolves’ season. 90min say he will be given substantial funds to bring in several players of his choosing.

And reports in Spain claim he’s already handed the club a list of targets, with plans to strengthen their attacking options his No 1 aim.

Top of that list is Real Madrid‘s forgotten striker Mariano Diaz. The former Spain coach knows Diaz well, having brought the striker back to the Bernabeu during his stint in charge of Los Blancos.

And while Diaz remains on Real Madrid’s books, he’s only made 15 appearances over this season and last.

Real will have no issue letting him leave if a decent offer comes their way.

And Lopetegui will hope the 84-goal striker can help solve Wolves’ prolifigacy in front of goal.

The Molineux men are the Premier League’s lowest scorers with just six goals in 13 matches played. They did sign former Chelsea striker Diego Costa on a free transfer earlier this season. But the veteran striker is yet to get off the mark in six appearances for the club.

To make matters worse for Wolves, the 34-year-old will now miss their next three games having been shown a red card for violent conduct against Brentford.

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