Julen Lopetegui, who was the frontrunner for the managerial job at West Ham, has reportedly turned down the offer.

While Lopetegui was in command of Wolverhampton before, that tenure was brief. Having taken over for Bruno Lage in November 2022, the Spaniard led Wolves to a 13th-place finish the previous season.

On the other hand, Lopetegui’s relationship with Wolves’ upper management quickly began to fray. He lost his temper last summer when Wolves could not replace star players like Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes, and Nathan Collins due to financial constraints.

It was Gary O’Neil that the club had to recruit to replace the Spaniard. The latter opted to depart Molineux only days before the start of the current season. After that, the Saudi Pro League offered Lopetegui a substantial deal to join up there.

But he allegedly turned it down since running a big club in Europe is his next managerial goal. It appears that it will not be long before AC Milan officially name the Spanish manager as their new head coach.

Not all fans are happy with the prospect of Lopetegui taking over at AC Milan
Not all fans are happy with the prospect of Lopetegui taking over at AC Milan

Not all fans are happy with the prospect of Lopetegui taking over at AC Milan

Lopetegui in high regard in Italy

After losing the Serie A championship to Inter, the Italian giants are getting ready for a leadership shakeup. The 57-year-old is favored above all other candidates to succeed Stefano Pioli as the San Siro manager when the current season concludes.

Despite renewed interest from West Ham, the Rossoneri are now in the final stages of negotiations with Lopetegui to complete a contract. The Guardian states that he turned down the opportunity to succeed David Moyes at the London Stadium and return to the Premier League.

As part of their rebuilding strategy, the San Siro outfit are poised to offer the ex-Spain boss a two-year deal. Actually, La Gazzetta dello Sport suggest that Milan leaders like Lopetegui’s ability to bring out the best in young players. After reviewing his resume, the Serie A giants were likewise pleased.

Going to Italy would be a fresh start for the manager, who has had spells in charge of England, Portugal, Spain, and Spain since 2003.

What do Milan fans think?

He would be an excellent match for the Rossoneri, according to even Monchi, the ex-director of Sevilla, who spoke highly of his countryman. In 2019, he named Lopetegui head coach of the Rojiblancos.

“Julen has three virtues that I find fundamental for any coach: great professional qualities, competitiveness, and group management. I immediately felt these qualities when I started talking to him about the Sevilla job. You don’t lose these characteristics with time; on the contrary, you consolidate them with experience.”

“He’d have no problems because he is accustomed to working in top clubs, so with great expectations and pressure.

“Think about Porto, Real Madrid and the Spanish national team. For this reason, I am convinced Julen is the ideal candidate to take charge of a club like Milan, one of the biggest in Europe. Julen perfectly understands what a big club needs, he has his requests.

“However, it’s normal, and he always works in sync with the club. He is demanding but only for the good of those who appointed him and never out of selfishness.”

In spite of this, Milan supporters are still fuming about the reports of discussions between the club and Lopetegui. In an effort to halt the possible appointment, fans of the Serie A powerhouse have launched a “Nopetegui” petition.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Inpho Photography