Everton handed potential boost as sporting director explains huge decision

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Premier League rivals Wolves have confirmed the departure of Julen Lopetegui.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have confirmed that Julen Lopetegui has left his role as head coach - just days before the start of the 2023-24 Premier League season.

Lopetegiu took charge of Wolves in November as he replaced Bruno Lage in the hot seat. He was tasked with ensuring that relegation was avoided and achieved that with aplomb. The Molineux side finished 13th and seven points adrift of safety.

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However, Wolves have ongoing financial problems, which has caused their transfer activity this summer to stutter. What's more, Ruben Neves, Nathan Collins, Raúl Jiménez and Conor Coady - who spent last season on loan at Everton - have been sold while Adama Traore and Joao Moutinho left at the end of their respective deals.

Former Bournemouth boss Gary O'Neil is the front runner to succeed Lopetegui, although losing the former Real Madrid and Spain chief is a huge blow - with plenty now believing that a relegation battle could be on the cards.

That could mean Everton are handed a boost, having scrapped for survival in the past two campaigns. Manager Sean Dyche admitted after last season that there would be no ‘easy fix’ and the Blues still had a ‘massive amount of work’ to do.”

On Wolves decision to part ways with Lopetgui, sporting director Matt Hobbs told the club's website: “While our ambition had been to move into the new season together, it is public knowledge that there were differences of opinion on some key topics, and it was agreed by all parties that it would be best to part ways ahead of the new campaign.

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“After a successful pre-season, full of hard work and good performances, Julen and his staff leave the squad in great shape ahead of the season opener next week, which will give his successor the best possible platform for success.

“We wish Julen and his team the very best of luck for the future, and they will always be welcome at Wolves.”

Everton welcome Wolves to Goodison Park on Saturday 26 August.

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