Premier League • England

Wolves in disarray amid Julen Lopetegui quit claims as owner Jeff Shi rules out major signing

Julen Lopetegui Wolves manager at Molineux Stadium

Julen Lopetegui Wolves manager

Julen Lopetegui is seriously considering his future as Wolves manager with a strong report claiming he is ready to walk out on the club just a week before the new season.

The highly-rated Spaniard was appointed by the Old Gold last Autumn after parting company with Bruno Lage. And while the former Sevilla boss was able to steer them clear of relegation, his troubles have since mounted.

Indeed, the club have already sold off star three regulars from last season in Nathan Collins, Ruben Neves and Raul Jimenez. And having not replaced them – despite raking in the best part of £90m in sales – the situation is poised to become far worse before it gets better.

Adding to Lopetegui’s woes, he has also moved on Conor Coady and Ryan Giles, leaving Wolves down to the bare bones just a week before the new season gets underway.

The club have made limited additions so far. Matheus Cunha and Boubacar Traore have made their loan stays permanent, while goalkeeper Tom King has arrived from Northampton. TEAMtalk also exclusively broke the news that Matt Doherty was to return to Wolves as a free agent.

However, amid claims Wolves may also have to accept a fresh Napoli abid to sign Max Kilman in a £27m deal, the situation could not be bleaker for Wolves. Or so it seemed…

Now, the Daily Mirror reports that Lopetegui is threatening to walk out of the crisis club. Their season begins on Monday August 14 with a trip to face Manchester United. They also face tough games against Brighton and Liverpool in their first five matches.

Now the paper claims Lopetegui fears Wolves are ‘nowhere near strong enough to cope’ with another relegation battle.

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Lopetegui ready to quit Wolves amid owners’ worrying statement

Fearing damage to his reputation, it’s claimed he could walk out on the club just over week before their Premier League opener.

They claim Lopetegui expressed his fears to Wolves chairman Jeff Shi at the back end of last season. And while he has since committed to staying, those fears have only exasperated in the intervening weeks.

The cause of his latest frustration, though, not only lies over the potential sale of Kilman but also over the failure to push through a £25m deal for Bristol City’s Alex Scott.

The midfield star, one of the elite performers in the Championship last season, has been compared to Jack Grealish. Gaining interest from the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and Newcastle, it was Wolves who appeared to move towards his signing.

However, Shi issued a statement on Thursday evening admitting it just is not possible to make major signings right now. As a result, Scott will slip through Lopetegui’s fingers and will now likely sign for Bournemouth.

Wolves are currently battling FFP regulations, as well as their own tight finances, and it seems more players may have to leave to balance the books.

Little wonder Lopetegui has seemingly had enough.

Wolves boss expresses transfer concerns

The 56-year-old boss refused to face the media following their latest pre-season friendly – a 0-0 draw with Luton – and will again snub the press during their final friendly against Rennes this weekend.

However, he did speak to Guillem Balague on YouTube about the club’s transfer plans.

“I don’t know. I would like to answer you. My aim, that is very clear, is that I would like to go to the pitches this afternoon with big energy, to translate [to the players] that we are going to our best in each training session.

“And as for the rest [of the issues], we will see what is going to happen because it is not under our control. I am not a financial advisor, I am a coach and I know we must be competitive in the Premier League. I have no complaints about the players that are here, but the rest is true.

“My responsibility starts and ends on the pitch. FFP is not under my control. I have to do my best always and work with the players who are here, with a big commitment.”

As a result, it is no surprise to see reports emerging suggesting Lopetegui is now on the verge of quitting Molineux.

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