Julen Lopetegui has already told West Ham what to expect from his Hammers side

Julen Lopetegui is set to become the next West Ham manager.Julen Lopetegui is set to become the next West Ham manager.
Julen Lopetegui is set to become the next West Ham manager. | Getty Images

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Former Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui is believed to have agreed to replace David Moyes at West Ham.

West Ham are poised to make former Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Julen Lopetegui the club's new manager at the end of the season to replace the out-of-contract David Moyes.

The Scotsman's current deal at the Hammers is up at the end of the campaign and the former Everton and Manchester United man had admitted that talks over a renewal would only take place following the culmination of the Premier League term. Moyes is under increasing pressure at the club, not helped by Sunday's 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea, and is not expected to sign a new contract.

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Lopetegui had been earmarked as a potential replacement and on Monday reports suggest that the 57-year-old has agreed a deal with the club, although a contract has not yet been signed. The manager left Wolves last summer and has previously taken charge of Spain and Real Madrid. He also won the Europa League with Sevilla in 2020, two years before moving to Molineux.

Lopetegui keen to understand West Ham players

West Ham supporters will be familiar with the Spaniard from his work at Wolves last season and can understand what to expect from the boss from interviews he has already given. In particular, when speaking to Wolves having arrived at the club, Lopetegui outlined his priorities when starting a new role.

He said: "I need to know more about my players. This is the first task, to know more about them and to choose the right way to play. It's not only about the physicality in the Premier League, it's technical and tactical.

"We have to work very hard, to adapt, to know more and respect the culture. Of course, to translate my personality, my idea and my way to play football but I repeat, the main actors are on the pitch. We can only help them.

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"We focus on working and understanding what's happening in the team, how we want to improve these players and what we have to change. It's the moment to have big energy in our daily work and in each training session. To think we are able to change that."

Wolves transfer policy frustrated Spaniard

Lopetegui is set to arrive at the London Stadium ahead of a summer transfer window which could be vital for West Ham. The loan of Kalvin Phillips hasn't worked out, making a midfield acquisition a priority while stars such as Lucas Paqueta are bound to attract transfer interest.

It was a lack of transfer action at Molineux ahead of this season that ultimately led to Lopetegui's departure, so Hammers supporters can expect a boss keen for new additions. Speaking about what happened at Wolves, The Spaniard told Guillem Balague’s Pure Football podcast: "My responsibility starts and ends on the pitch. FFP is not under my control. I have to do my best always and work with the players who are here, with a big commitment.

"Unfortunately this situation was bad news for me of course. In the summer we had plan A, and then we had to adapt after this new situation. We had to start thinking about cost effective players but it's true that, at the moment, we can't develop this plan too. 

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"We lost a lot of players this summer, so we want to sign a lot more players. We must balance this situation, we must balance the squad to be competitive in the Premier League.

Julen Lopetegui is set to become the next West Ham manager.Julen Lopetegui is set to become the next West Ham manager.
Julen Lopetegui is set to become the next West Ham manager. | Getty Images

"We went to a plan B, trying to think about cost-effective players, but we can’t develop this plan, too. We lost a lot of players and we think the club want to sell more players.

"It’s a pity because you are thinking at any moment key players can come and, in the end, they don’t for different reasons. We were excited by this new plan, but now we don’t have this plan because we don’t have any new players."

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West Have ‘have incredible players’

Lopetegui only faced David Moyes' side one time last season, having arrived in the Premier League in November. That match, in January 2023, ended with a 1-0 victory to Wolves at Molineux thanks to a Daniel Podence winner.

Speaking about what he admired in the Hammers after the match, the Wolves boss said: “In the first half, my opinion is we had the play, the ball, but it’s not easy to have chances against a strong team with a lot of players behind the ball. We tried, we had three or four crosses which were very dangerous, and we didn’t arrive to the box in time, and after in the second half in the first chance we scored.

“After, they pressed a lot, won a lot of second balls, and we were a little bit tired because we played three days ago, a very hard match against Nottingham Forest. I’m pleased with their commitment, their effort, their character against a very good team. West Ham have incredible players and coach, we scored, and for the first time in the league we have a clean sheet, it’s very important to work with a clean sheet, especially in the Premier League, because all teams have big qualities."

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