- Julen Lopetegui has revealed he cried after leaving Wolves this summer
- Wolves’ owners told him it would be ‘impossible’ to develop the Wolves project
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Julen Lopetegui has confessed his departure from Wolves left him in tears after the Spanish manager left Molineux just three days before the start of the Premier League season.
The former Spain and Real Madrid boss opted to leave the West Midlands club following disagreements with owners Fosun International over transfer policy.
After selling Ruben Neves to Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal for £47 million, Wolves had only signed Tom King and Matt Doherty for free by the time Lopetegui left on August 9.
Chairman Jeff Shi wrote an open letter to supporters explaining that the club had to cut back on signings to adhere to Financial Fair Play restrictions, and the 57-year-old felt his ambition to take Wolves into the top half of the It was impossible to lead the Premier League. be fulfilled.
He told The Athletics: ‘When we started the preseason, they told me that it was impossible to develop this project and we decided to part ways.
Julen Lopetegui has revealed he cried after leaving as Wolves manager last summer
The Spaniard said Wolves’ owners, including chairman Jeff Shi (above), told him it would be ‘impossible’ to develop his project at the club.
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‘I love all the workers, all the players and especially the fans; they have an incredible warmth to me. I still live there, so I feel that.
“I wish the best to the owners, to (incoming manager) Gary O’Neil, to (sporting director) Matt Hobbs, to (general manager) Matt Wild, and to all the players. I will always be a little wolf.
Lopetegui helped keep Wolves in the Premier League last season after arriving at the club when they were in the relegation zone in November 2022.
But after securing a comfortable 13th place in May it became clear that Wolves would have to cut back on spending.
After battling Matheus Cunha, Joao Gomes, Mario Lemina and Pablo Sarabia to stay at the top in January, the club approved the departure of Neves to Saudi Arabia and Nathan Collins to Premier League rivals Brentford.
Lopetegui oversaw Wolves’ pre-season preparations despite knowing his departure was close to being finalised.
Although he had only been at the club for just under nine months, Lopetegui revealed that his departure was still difficult to understand.
He said: ‘It wasn’t easy for me. It was unfortunate. I remember many workers, including us, were crying.
‘The atmosphere and commitment we have created at Wolves in a short time is not normal.
Lopetegui helped save Wolves from relegation last season, with the club sitting in the relegation zone when he arrived in November 2022
The sale of Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves to Sauid Pro League side Al-Hilal has done little to free up transfer funds at Molinuex
“I remember this with a great, heavy heart. This was special.’
The sale of Matheus Nunes to Manchester City for £53 million allowed new boss O’Neil to add to his squad in the final days of the window.
However, Wolves have won just one of their opening six Premier League games of the season and were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Championship side Ipswich Town in midweek.
They welcome league leaders City to Molineux on Saturday, looking for their first home win of the campaign.