Julen Lopetegui nearly spurned Premier League clubs for Wolves before Spain

Getty Images

Many managers profess their desire to manage in the Premier League. Many of them see managing at the international level as yet another step up.

For Spain boss Julen Lopetegui, he nearly turned down offers from England’s top flight for a Championship club before finally getting a call with an irrefutable offer at the final minute.

According to Lopetegui, he was more interested in taking a project at Wolverhampton Wanderers than a Premier League job, but the Spain job was one he couldn’t turn down.

“When the federation called, naturally my objective became the national team,”Lopetegui told the Spanish press ahead of Spain’s friendly with England. “But it’s true that before that [Wolves and I] had been working hand in hand for some time. It was very close but in the end it wasn’t to be. I enjoyed the time I spent with them; there were job offers from the Premier League but their project was especially attractive”

The former Porto boss added, “Wolves is a great club, where there would be significant investment and a desire to grow, to shine again.”

Lopetegui is relatively inexperienced for someone at his level, which may have attracted Wolves to the 50-year-old, as Lopetegui may have flown enough under the radar to still be someone who would take a project at the Championship level. However, he didn’t clearly wasn’t too out of the picture if both Premier League clubs and Spain showed serious interest. Lopetegui was particularly attractive to the Spanish national team having managed at the U-17, U-18, and U-19 levels in the Spanish setup.

In his place, Wolves instead turned to former Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, but Wolves are struggling, in 19th place in the Championship table with 17 points after 16 matches.