West Ham in talks with Julen Lopetegui over replacing David Moyes in summer

<span>Julen Lopetegui, the former <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Wolves;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Wolves</a> manager, has been out of work since last summer and on the London Stadium club’s radar for several months.</span><span>Photograph: Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images</span>

West Ham have held productive talks with the former Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui over replacing David Moyes this summer.

Lopetegui, who has been out of work since last summer, has been on West Ham’s radar for several months and made a strong impression during discussions over the job. A final decision has not been made and there are alternative options to the 57-year-old Spaniard, who has spoken to Milan about replacing Stefano Pioli.

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Rúben Amorim, the highly rated Sporting manager, flew to London for talks with West Ham’s co-owner, David Sullivan, on Monday. Intermediaries have also advanced the case of the Lille manager, Paulo Fonseca, who was interviewed by Sullivan in 2018.

Lopetegui is yet to gain universal approval within West Ham, with some at the club of the view that the former Real Madrid, Sevilla and Spain manager is not the right fit and that a younger manager is needed. But there are doubts over whether West Ham, who are set to part company with Moyes when his contract expires at the end of the season, are prepared to pay Amorim’s buyout clause of €15m (£13m).

Reports in Portugal have also claimed that Amorim, who has been a candidate to replace Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool, was unsure about joining West Ham following his trip to London. Hiring the 39-year-old, who is seen as one of the brightest young coaches in Europe, would be a coup. Tim Steidten, West Ham’s technical director, has driven the pursuit of Amorim, who is close to leading Sporting to the Portuguese title.

West Ham are preparing for change but are yet to make an announcement on Moyes’s future. The Scot’s departure is all but inevitable following last Sunday’s 5-2 defeat by Crystal Palace.

Lopetegui has attended at least one game at the London Stadium this season and has experience of managing in the Premier League – a quality that Sullivan tends to prioritise. He joined Wolves midway through last season and led them away from a relegation battle, only to leave after growing frustrated with the club’s transfer activity.

Not all of the feedback has been positive, however. Lopetegui, who won the Europa League with Sevilla in 2020, left his job as Spain’s head coach on the eve of the 2018 World Cup after negotiating with Madrid behind the Spanish federation’s back. He was sacked by Madrid after 138 days in charge at the Bernabéu.

But Lopetegui is likely to become West Ham’s manager if Sullivan decides to ignore those at the club who are cautioning him to look elsewhere. West Ham’s shortlist includes Hansi Flick, the former Germany manager, while Graham Potter and Steve Cooper are available. Fulham’s Marco Silva is another option.