Julen Lopetegui announced as new Sevilla manager eight months after Real Madrid sacking

4 Jun

Julen Lopetegui has been unveiled as the new Sevilla manager and has signed a three-year deal.

The 52-year-old has been out of work since his sacking by Real Madrid in October.

Julen Lopetegui was axed by Real Madrid following a 5-1 defeat to Barcelona

Lopetegui fills the managerial vacancy at the LaLiga club after Pablo Machin was axed when they were knocked out of the Europa League by Slavia Praha.

Sevilla announced the appointment on Tuesday and is due to be presented to fans and the press on Wednesday.

His spell at the helm of Los Blancos was short lived and was sacked just a few months after taking over.

He was relieved of his duties following an embarrassing 5-1 Clasico defeat to Barcelona.

Lopetegui took over at Real Madrid in controversial circumstances as a deal was struck while he was still in charge of the Spain national side.

His contract was torn up ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia after the news became public.

He had qualified for the tournament without losing a game but did not get the chance to lead his side at the tournament.

Lopetegui has previously managed Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid B, Spain age group teams and Porto.

On Saturday, Sevilla were forced to confirm their former player, Jose Antonio Reyes was killed in a car accident.

“We couldn’t be confirming worse news,” they wrote on Twitter. “Beloved Sevilla star Jose Antonio Reyes has died in a traffic collision. Rest in peace.”

Tributes were paid to the forward, who also played for Arsenal, all weekend, including at the Champions League final where they observed a minute’s applause before kick-off, while Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno wore a special T-shirt to honour his former team-mate.

The player’s funeral was held on Monday in his hometown of Utrera, after fans lined the streets as his coffin was driven from Sevilla’s stadium on Sunday.

Real Madrid reportedly targeting Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino having sacked Julen Lopetegui

29 Oct

Real Madrid want to appoint Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager, according to reports.

Los Blancos sacked Julen Lopetegui on Monday night, after a shocking start to the season saw them drop to ninth in LaLiga.

Tottenham were beaten 1-0 by Man City just after Lopetegui was sacked on Monday night

A 5-1 thrashing by bitter rivals Barcelona proved the final straw for Lopetegui, who was initially rumoured to be replaced by ex-Chelsea coach Antonio Conte.

However, it is now being reported by the Sun that the Spanish side won’t be appointing the Italian due to the wishes of their players and are instead targeting Pochettino.

Representatives from the Bernabeu are claimed to have met with Poch’s people in London last week as their pursuit hots up.

The Argentinian only recently reiterated his commitment to Spurs, however it seems that this will now be severely tested.

Reserve team boss Santiagio Solri has been named as Real Madrid’s interim manager at present.

Real Madrid sack manager Julen Lopetegui following El Clasico thrashing by Barcelona

29 Oct

Real Madrid have sacked their manager Julen Lopetegui and provisionally replaced him with reserve team boss Santiago Solari.

The Galacticos were beaten 5-1 by bitter rivals Barcelona on Sunday and have acted quickly to replace their boss following the latest result of their horrendous start to the 2018/19 season.

Lopetegui replaced Zinedine Zidane in June

Real posted the following statement on their website: “The Board of Directors of Real Madrid CF, meeting today October 29, 2018, has agreed to terminate the contract that linked coach Julen Lopetegui with the club.

“This decision, adopted from the highest level of responsibility, aims to change the dynamics of the first team, when all the objectives of this season are still achievable.

“The Board of Directors understands that there is a great disproportion between the quality of the staff of Real Madrid, which has eight players nominated for the next Golden Ball, something unprecedented in the history of the club, and the results obtained to date.

“The club thanks Julen Lopetegui and all his technical team for their effort and work and wishes them the best in their professional career.

“It will be provisionally replaced by Santiago Solari, who will lead the first team starting tomorrow, Tuesday.”

Julen Lopetegui’s dad criticises Real Madrid for selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus as Los Blancos prepare to sack manager

29 Oct

Julen Lopetegui’s father has accused Real Madrid of setting his son up for failure as manager by not finding a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

The former Spain coach is on the verge of being dismissed as Los Blancos boss after their humiliating 5-1 defeat at Barcelona in the first Clasico of the season.

Real Madrid were outplayed by their bitter rivals

MORE: Barcelona cope without Messi but Real Madrid are not over Ronaldo’s departure

Madrid’s board are set to confirm the sacking imminently with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte the likely candidate to succeed Lopetegui.

The Champions League holders are ninth in LaLiga having won just four of their first ten matches, scoring a mere 14 goals in the process.

It’s clear Real are struggling without Ronaldo, who completed his £99.2m to Juventus in the summer, and Lopetegui’s father, Jose Antonio echoed this idea.

Real Madrid’s inability to replace Ronaldo has cost Lopetegui, according to the manager’s father

“Cristiano Ronaldo was good,” Jose Antonio said.

“Was he cocky? We all have defects, but it turns out he scored 50 goals a season. He is missing. You are missing a prominent goalscorer. They haven’t brought one, not a single one.

“There was talk of Neymar and others, but no one came. They have stolen 50 goals from my son. He has to settle with what he has and don’t get me wrong, he is delighted with the players he has.

“He usually says: ‘I have great people, they give everything they’ve got.’ He doesn’t blame the players. But when there is no material, there isn’t. There was but he left.”

Lopetegui reportedly said his goodbyes to the Real Madrid players after the game

Being sacked by Madrid will cap off a hectic few months for Lopetegui, who was dramatically dismissed as Spain coach just two days before La Roja’s first game of the 2018 World Cup after it emerged he accepted an offer from the European giants without first consulting the Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales that talks took place.

He was unveiled as Madrid’s new coach at the Bernabeu a day later, saying: “Yesterday was the saddest day of my life, but today is the happiest.”

Julen Lopetegui set to be sacked as Real Madrid manager after Barcelona thrashing, Antonio Conte in line to replace him

28 Oct

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is expected to replace Julen Lopetegui as Real Madrid manager this week.

A humiliating 5-1 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Barcelona in Sunday’s El Clasico is believed to have sealed Lopetegui’s fate.

The writing is on the wall for Julen Lopetegui

The Spaniard was already on the brink heading into the game and his side suffered a third straight La Liga defeat for the first time since May 2009, leaving them ninth in the table and seven points off Barca.

And now, Spanish journalist Guillem Balague reports that Lopetegui will be sacked on Monday, with Conte set to take over at the Bernabeu.

Conte, a clear bookmakers’ favourite for the job, has been out of work since he left Chelsea in the summer.

He won the Premier League title and the FA Cup during his two seasons with the club, but left under a cloud following a dispute with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy.

Lopetegui remained defiant following the humbling in Sunday’s El Clasico and insisted Madrid’s season can be salvaged.

Conte could be announced as soon as Monday

“We all know how the world of football works, and the final responsibility lies with the coach. I am not stupid,” Lopetegui said.

“But here we win together, and lose together. But I still believe we are in an [early] stage of the season, and Madrid this year will celebrate.”

However, rumours in Spain suggest the 52-year-old has already bid farewell to the players after accepting his fate.

Madrid captain Sergio Ramos publicly supported his manager at the Nou Camp, but admitted he is waiting to see what happens in the coming days.

“The coaches and the players are with the coach to the death. Results determine a lot whether a coach stays,” Ramos said.

“But it is not our decision, it comes from above. We have heard nothing. So we will stay the side, and let the hours pass, and what must happen will happen.”

‘Brendan Rodgers should go to Tottenham if Pochettino goes to Real Madrid’, suggests talkSPORT host Adrian Durham

26 Oct

Adrian Durham has suggested Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers should replace Mauricio Pochettino, IF the Tottenham Hotspur manager leaves for Real Madrid.

Speculation about current Los Blancos boss Julen Lopetegui has intensified after their woeful start in LaLiga, with Pochettino reportedly being considered for the post.

Durham has suggested a change for Pochettino, with Rodgers taking the Spurs hot seat

After reports suggested the former Southampton manager was being lined up to replace Zinedine Zidane in the summer, former England boss Sam Allardyce backed the 46-year-old to take the post, should it become available.

And with Celtic struggling in Scotland, Durham teased the possibility of pressing play on perhaps the most incredible managerial roundabout in history.

After dominating the Premiership, Rodgers appears to have exhausted his efforts at Parkhead and with their European record under intense scrutiny; the talkSPORT host suggested it was time for a radical overhaul.

Speaking to Darren Gough on Drivetime, Durham said: “Well where they [Celtic] expect to be right now, at this stage of the season, they would be expecting to be in a Champions League group – possibly bottom, possibly fighting to finish third to go into the Europa League.

The former Liverpool boss consoles his despondent Celtic players after losing to RB Leipzig
Luuk De Jong’s goal for PSV on Wednesday night also left Spurs’ Champions League hopes in tatters

“But they’re not.

“And they’re not even in the Champions League this year; they’re not even top of the Scottish Premiership.

“And it doesn’t mean Brendan Rodgers is a bad manager. What it means is, he has done what he can. He’s gone a little bit stale even at Celtic Football Club.

“I’m surprised even at the reaction to Celtic’s defeat last night – it has been scathing from ex-players and pundits.

“I understand that because they were poor, truly poor last night and their European record is not good at all under Brendan Rodgers, in my opinion.

“But what next?

“What about this for a possible pathway; Pochettino goes to Real Madrid and Brendan Rodgers goes to Spurs? “

Real Madrid manager latest: Antonio Conte ‘free’ to join after agreeing settlement with Chelsea

26 Oct

Real Madrid have moved a step closer to appointing Antonio Conte as their new manager after he agreed a settlement with Chelsea, according to Sportmediaset.

It had been reported Los Blancos would have to pay £9.5million should they want to replace current boss Julen Lopetegui with the Italian as he is technically still employed at Stamford Bridge.

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.

But reports in Italy suggest Conte and Chelsea have now agreed a deal in a London court freeing up the former Juventus head coach to take a role at the Bernabeu should they ditch Lopetegui.

The former Spain head coach is under-fire following a torrid start to the campaign which saw them break a club record for their longest goal drought, while they sit seventh in LaLiga after a loss to Levante.

It’s believed a defeat to Barcelona in Sunday’s El Clasico will secure his fate and now the way is paved for Conte to succeed him.

Next Real Madrid manager: Antonio Conte’s brother reveals latest as speculation about Julen Lopetegui persists

25 Oct

Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is yet to agree a deal to replace Julen Lopetegui as Real Madrid manager.

That is according to the Italian’s brother, Daniele, who has provided an update on the current situation.

Antonio Conte during his time at Chelsea.

Conte is being heavily linked with the Real Madrid job at the moment as Lopetegui’s future remains unclear.

The Spaniard is under huge pressure after winning just two of his last six games and reports claim he could be sacked after this weekend’s derby with Barcelona.

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has reportedly sounded out Conte about taking charge, who has been out of work since the summer.

The Italian left Chelsea then after two years in charge and he is understood to be keen to get back into management.

Lopetegui has endured a torrid start to his time with the Galacticos

However, his brother Daniele has revealed that no contact has been made with Real Madrid so far.

Antonio is on holiday at the moment,” he told Cadena Ser.

“He hasn’t received any phone call from Real. We can definitely say it’s a great club, but for now there’s been no contact.”

Chelsea news: Blues set for £9.5million windfall if Real Madrid appoint Antonio Conte

24 Oct

Chelsea could be set for an unexpected payday as Real Madrid would have to give the club €10.8m (£9.5m) to hire Antonio Conte.

The Spanish giants are considering appointing the Italian as their new boss after Julen Lopetegui’s poor start to the season.

Antonio Conte celebrates during his time as Chelsea manager.

Real Madrid beat Viktoria Plzen 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday night, but prior to that they had secured one win in five games.

The club are now ready to show Lopetegui the door and the axe could fall after this weekend’s crunch clash with Barcelona.

Conte is the man Real Madrid have identified to take the reins, with the board keen to shake up the dressing room.

But, according to reports in Italy, it will cost the club €10.8m (£9.5m) in compensation to hire Conte now.

Julen Lopetegui’s position as Real Madrid boss remains precarious

Chelsea are said to be still paying the Italian for the final year of his contract and the only way for him to work elsewhere is for the Blues to be paid compensation.

That has left Real Madrid facing an otherwise unexpected additional cost, unless they opt to place an interim boss in charge till the end of the season.

Former midfielder Santiago Solari, who coaches the club’s B team, is being touted for such a role.

The 42-year-old would take charge of first-team affairs until the end of the season, when Conte could then join for no compensation fee.

Jose Mourinho press conference in full: Talking Paul Pogba, Real Madrid rumours and Chelsea bust-up

22 Oct

Jose Mourinho has distanced himself from the Real Madrid job and refused to speak about Paul Pogba before he faces former side Juventus.

The Manchester United boss was addressing the media ahead of the Red Devils’ Champions League clash with Juventus on Tuesday.

Mourinho refused to talk about Pogba, Real Madrid or Ronaldo

United are currently second behind the Old Lady and are preparing to welcome back former hero Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford.

However, the Portuguese was in no mood for trivial questions and showed no signs of sentimentality when asked about Ronaldo, Pogba or former side Real Madrid.

Los Blancos are floundering in LaLiga under Julen Lopetegui and sit seventh in the table.

Check out exactly what a spiky Mourinho said to the press ahead of the European clash with heavyweights Juventus.

On Pogba taking on former side Juventus…

“I don’t like this press conference.

“I don’t want to speak about Pogba, I don’t want to speak about individuals, I don’t want to speak to the Spanish journalists because they are only interested in Real Madrid and Ronaldo.

“Now I’m going to play against one of the big clubs in the world, one of the biggest candidates of winning the competition, that’s what motivates me, that’s what brings me here and this press conference is going in another direction so if you go in another direction, I also want to go in another direction. No I’m serious.”

Pogba is preparing to face former side Juventus

On the possibility of returning to former side Real Madrid…

No, I am happy here,” Mourinho said.

“I am happy here. I am happy to see out my contract to the very last day of that contract and I would like to stay after my contract runs out as well.

“All I am thinking about at the moment is Manchester United.”

Jose Mourinho insists it would be impossible for Barcelona and Real Madrid to dominate English football in the way they do in Spain
Jose Mourinho during his time as Real Madrid manager

On Chelsea coach Marco Ianni…

“I’m not happy that it’s going too far with the young boy. I don’t think he deserves more than what he got. He apologised to me, I accept his apologies, I think he deserves a second chance.”

Mourinho added: “I don’t think he deserves to be sacked. I don’t think he deserves anything more than the facts that his club was strong with him and he went through a situation that in the end he recognises that he was wrong.

“I hope everyone does the same as I did which is to not disturb the career of a young guy who is probably a great guy, who probably is a coach with great potential. I’m not happy at all with more than that.

The Man United boss exploded with rage after Chelsea’s equaliser was celebrated by Ianni

“With me it’s the end of the story in the minute he apologised to me. I would really like the boy not to go through more than that, let him work.

“Everybody makes mistakes, I made a lot of mistakes. So I hope they let the kid go on.”