Julen Lopetegui’s nine-month spell as Wolves head coach has ended after reaching an “agreement to part ways” on the eve of the new Premier League season.
The former Spain and Real Madrid boss arrived in November after the club were successful in their second attempt in recruiting him to replace Bruno Lage.
Lopetegui guided the side away from the bottom of the table to a 13th-placed finish but apparent disagreement over the club’s recruitment policy over the summer has resulted in the 56-year-old departing.
“The head coach and club acknowledged and accepted their differences of opinion on certain issues and agreed that an amicable end to his contract was the best solution for all parties,” said a statement from the club.
“Talks have been ongoing in recent weeks, held with the utmost respect and cordiality, affording the club time and space to begin work on finding a successor, while also ensuring that Julen and his backroom staff could continue their planned preparation to ensure the playing squad would be in the best possible condition for the start of the Premier League season.”
In his own statement Lopetegui said: “I wish Wolves and everybody at the club the very best of luck for the future, and thank them for the opportunity granted at the time to take charge of this wonderful club.
“It has been an honour to enjoy this adventure. Also, of course, I want to thank the players, who have always given the maximum to achieve our objectives, and especially the fans that made me feel like one of them from the very first moment and have always been amazing to me, my staff and my family.”
Lopetegui, whose backroom staff of Pablo Sanz, Juan Peinado, Oscar Caro, Edu Rubio, Borja De Alba Alonso and Daniel Lopetegui will also leave, took over with the club bottom of the Premier League.
He won nine league games from that point, beating Liverpool and Tottenham at Molineux, as the club finished safely in mid-table to extend their top-flight stay into a sixth season.
“On behalf of everyone at the club I’d like to thank Julen and his staff for their dedication and hard work during their time at the football club,” said sporting director Matt Hobbs.
“They were brought in with the primary aim of keeping the club in the Premier League last season, an objective which they achieved with games to spare.
“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.
“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.”
Former Bournemouth head coach Gary O’Neil, sacked this summer after steering the Cherries to top-flight safety, is reported to be in line to replace Lopetegui.