Wolverhampton Wanderers confirm Gary O’Neil appointment as head coach

Wolverhampton Wanderers confirm that Gary O’Neil has been appointed as their new head coach, replacing Julen Lopetegui who departed the club on Tuesday night.

Wolverhampton Wanderers have confirmed that Gary O’Neil has been appointed as their new head coach.

After weeks of speculation regarding his future at Molineux, Julen Lopetegui left his role in the dugout on Tuesday evening.

In a statement, Wolves acknowledged that there had been considerable differences of options with regards to the club’s transfer plans, Lopetegui wanting to add players to his squad and owners Fosun International insisting that it was not a possibility due to FFP regulations.

However, on Monday evening, it became apparent that Wolves had already identified O’Neil as their preferred alternative, talks said to have been held at the back end of last week.

Once Fosun and Lopetegui had agreed terms over his departure, the Premier League outfit pressed ahead to finalise a deal for the former Bournemouth manager.

Bournemouth manager Gary O'Neil reacts on February 18, 2023© Reuters

Wolves have revealed that have have handed a three-year deal to the 40-year-old, who is expected to take training for the first time on Thursday.

Speaking to the club’s official website, sporting director Matt Hobbs said: “We’re delighted to welcome Gary to the club. He’s a highly motivated young coach with strong principles and very well thought of by everyone he has worked with, and we’re excited to see what we can achieve together at Wolves.

“Our players have shown their quality during pre-season, and I believe Gary and his team will continue to coach and improve them and will have success working with this group.

“Everyone at Wolves is looking forward to welcoming Gary, offering him their full support and working collaboratively to help the club to keep pushing forward together.”

Bournemouth manager Gary O'Neil reacts on April 1, 2023© Reuters

Unlike his predecessor, O’Neil does not share a vast amount of experience in the dugout, yet he emerged as one of the managers of last season as he kept Bournemouth in the Premier League.

From his 34 top-flight fixtures in charge, the Englishman earned 36 points, the 15th-best return in the division across that period.

O’Neil had been planning for his first full season at the Vitality Stadium until the new Cherries owners made the decision to bring in Andoni Iraola, effectively sacking him.

Nevertheless, O’Neil left Bournemouth having enhanced his reputation, and he now makes a step up at Wolves with their first game of the season coming at Manchester United on August 14.

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