According to Relevo, Julen Lopetegui is a strong candidate to replace Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, with the Dutchman’s job under threat following their elimination from the UEFA Champions League.
Lopetegui recently rejected a €18m per year offer from Saudi Arabia, as he awaits an offer from a Premier League club. The Spaniard is highly valued by the hierarchy at the English club and has been involved in previous interviewing processes when the club was searching for a manager.
The 57-year-old head coach is currently unemployed after leaving Wolverhampton Wanderers in August due to disagreements with the owners over the project. Since then, he has been linked with various other clubs in Europe such as Napoli.
A few weeks ago he rejected a lucrative proposal from Saudi Arabia due to his ambition to continue his career in England. He has emerged as a primary candidate for the Manchester United job, as the club officials value his work at Wolves, which coincides with his vast experience in European competitions.
The project fits perfectly with what Lopetegui is looking for, a reputable club in a difficult period that requires leadership and experience to turn it around. His experience in the Premier League and Europe has positioned him at the top of United’s shortlist ahead of other names such as Zinedine Zidane, Graham Potter and Roberto De Zerbi.
Furthermore, Lopetegui has worked with a section of the current United dressing room. He promoted Sergio Reguilón from Castilla to the Real Madrid first team. During his spell at Los Blancos, he also developed a strong relationship with Raphael Varane and Casemiro.
As it stands, Ten Hag will lead the team out against Liverpool at Anfield this weekend, but another damaging defeat could see him relieved of his duties with Lopetegui positioned well to replace him.
Rajan Sangha | GSFN