Julen Lopetegui has insisted he does not want Wolves to make marquee signings “from Barcelona or Real Madrid” but is seeking clarity to ensure the club do not get left behind by Premier League rivals, as uncertainty lingers over his position.
Lopetegui’s future at Wolves is at a crossroads because financial fair play regulations will limit the club’s ability to spend big this summer. Lopetegui said he only discovered the restraints last week. Wolves have spent almost £200m across this season but a shift in transfer policy is likely when the transfer window reopens.
“I am not asking for incredible signings. I am thinking of signing good players, young players, maybe Championship players, I don’t know,” Lopetegui said. “I am not thinking we are going to sign from Real Madrid or Barcelona, no. I am aware of our reality. But in our reality we have to be demanding now if we want to be demanding after.”
Wolves are not expected to make any big-money signings this summer. Wolves spent almost £70m on Matheus Nunes and Gonçalo Guedes alone last summer. Lopetegui, though, has reiterated to the board his desire to refresh a bloated squad. The captain Rúben Neves is set to depart, while Adama Traoré and João Moutinho are both out of contract.
Lopetegui hopes more talks with the chairman, Jeff Shi, will assuage his concerns amid uncertainty over his future. Wolves, who became the first team in eight years to stay up after being bottom on Christmas Day, finish their season at Arsenal on Sunday.
“It is a moment when we have to take a decision because all the clubs want more each year and it’s very difficult,” Lopetegui said. “That is why we have to be able to improve and maybe it is going to be a very difficult situation to improve because if you don’t have money and you have to sell a lot of players and you can’t invest it is going to be more difficult for us.
“That is why I want to see more or less the picture that we are going to have but this is about inside discussions, normal discussions, in a good environment and always looking for the best of the club and the best of all of us.”