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Wolves dodged a bullet in 2016 when Julen Lopetegui headed elsewhere

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves dodged a bullet in 2016 when Julen Lopetegui headed elsewhere

The Spaniard has been sacked by Real Madrid after a dreadful run of form.

Real Madrid are on the hunt for a new manager. Last night they sacked former Spain coach Julen Lopetegui after a dismal start to the season culminated in a 5-1 defeat to rivals Barcelona at the weekend.

It ends a miserable few months for the former Real coach. Lopetegui took the Real Madrid job days before a World Cup campaign with Spain. That, subsequently, cost him his chance to lead his nation in Russia.

One Premier League team who will be thinking they dodged a bullet is Wolverhampton Wanderers.

In the summer of 2016, it seemed he was set to become the new Wolves boss. The Spaniard admitted that he had been working ‘hand in hand’ with Wolves that summer as the new owners, Fosun International, looked to replace Kenny Jackett.

Porto’s Spanish coach Julen Lopetegui gestures on the bench before the start of the Portuguese league football match FC Porto vs Rio Ave at the Dragao stadium in Porto, on January 6, 2016. The match finished with a 1-1 draw. AFP PHOTO/ MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP / MIGUEL RIOPA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)

However, the Spanish football federation came calling and Lopetegui informed Wolves he would be going elsewhere.

 

Wolves ended up appointing Walter Zenga, then Paul Lambert, before finally hitting the sweet spot with current boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

Lopetegui, it seems, would have been an error. His record with Spain was decent, but considering the talent available on the international scene, that is a muted achievement.

But it not just his Real Madrid performance that should have Wolves pleased they missed out. He also struggled during his time in charge of Porto, failing to win any silverware at the club and eventually getting the sack after two-and-half years in January 2016.

Wolves will be pleased that they never got their man in 2016, as it seems Lopetegui has built something of a reputation out of very little proof.

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Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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