Julen Lopetegui admits "we have a problem" as he drops hint on Wolves futureIrish Mirror 27/05/2023 06:38
Julen Lopetegui is ready to compromise his ambitions to stay at Wolves but says he wants his squad in place for July 1.
The head coach is in talks with chairman Jeff Shi and Chinese owners Fosun over the budget after stunning fans by saying he was unaware of the club’s FFP issues. Fosun are seeking outside investors for all their businesses but Wolves need to sell to buy this summer after two expensive transfer windows.
Ruben Neves is expected to leave for £45m with Barcelona the expected destination. Out-of-contract duo Adama Traore and Joao Moutinho will leave for free, while Raul Jimenez and Jonny Castro Otto are out of favour and are expected to leave and there are question marks over keeper Jose Sa.
“I have a contract and I’ve been here for six months. I’m very happy here and I hope I can continue being happy here,” said Lopetegui, 56. “But we have a problem and we must be honest and look each other in the eyes to try to solve them.“Maybe not 100 per cent, but maybe 80 per cent, who knows?”
Lopetegui wants his squad in place for just after the players return for the start of pre-season training.
“For me this is very important to have the squad ready to start working with us on 1 July,” he said. “Pre-season is key for the rest of the season – to avoid injury, to make a commitment and a different connection between the players.
“There are many advantages to this situation – physically, tactically and mentally to try to create a big commitment in the same way that there’s a big demand on the players.”
Mexico star Jimenez, 32, has been frozen out since March but Lopetegui says he hopes the striker will stay, while he expects Moutinho - who won't feature against Arsenal on Sunday - to play on elsewhere.
“Raul has another year on his contract and for me it’s not his last match with us,” said Lopetegui. “He’s our player I hope he continues with us.
“Joao Moutinho has finished his contract and has had fantastic seasons here.
“He’s a very good player, he’s had a fantastic career and he’s able to continue playing because he’s fit, he works very hard every day and he competes very well.”