Next West Ham Manager Odds: Julen Lopetegui Set To Replace David Moyes

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Next West Ham Manager Odds: Julen Lopetegui Set To Replace David Moyes
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West Ham have confirmed David Moyes will leave the club at the end of the season, but football betting sites have already suspended the market on his replacement.

Former Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui has reportedly agreed terms to replace Moyes at the end of the campaign.

Moyes’ departure was announced after Sunday’s 5-0 drubbing by Chelsea left the Hammers in ninth place and almost certainly out of the running for one of the European spots next season.

Speculation about the Scot’s future has been rife for most of the year, with the former Manchester United and Everton boss insisting that contract talks would be conducted after the final Premier League match against Manchester City.

However, a 2-0 home defeat by Fulham and a 5-2 drubbing by Crystal Palace fuelled the rumours that Moyes’ four-and-a-half-years reign in east London was coming to an end.

That was confirmed a day after the heavy defeat at Stamford Bridge which left West Ham with just one win in nine heading into the season finale.

Former Spain and Real Madrid coach Lopetegui is thought to have been looking for a return to the Premier League since leaving Wolves last August and his wish is close to being granted. 

Amorim Admitted Hammers Talks A Mistake

Sporting boss Ruben Amorim had been the favourite with the best betting sites to replace Moyes after holding talks with the Hammers in April.

But, the Portuguese eventually apologised to his club’s supporters for travelling to London to discuss the move, admitting that he had made a “mistake” and that the “timing was completely wrong” because Sporting were so close to winning the title.

He said: “It was wrong, especially when I'm so demanding with my players and always the first to say that each one's actions can overpower the team. 

"I have already removed players from the squad for much less. It was my mistake, I have to accept it and live with it.”

Amorim had also been one of the favourites to replace Jurgen Klopp as head coach at Liverpool, but it seems the vacancy has been filled by Feyenoord’s Arne Slot.

Potter And Fonseca Non-Starters For Hammers Role

Former Chelsea and Brighton manager Graham Potter is linked with most jobs in the Premier League and at one stage he was the frontrunner for the West Ham post, but the rumours started to fade once Amorim and Lopetegui arrived on the scene.

Paulo Fonseca was also reportedly on West Ham’s radar thanks to a brilliant couple of seasons with Lille, who finished fifth in Ligue 1 in the 2022-23 campaign and still have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League.

The Portuguese previously won three league titles in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk - and seemed open to a move to England, but despite a burgeoning reputation he remained in France. 

Noble Cause Fizzled Out

Mark Noble was considered an outsider to take the Hammers job on an interim basis should Moyes have left the club early.

He knows the club inside out and would have had the support of the entire fan base from day one.

However, Noble does not have anything in the way of coaching experience, while the fact he is serving as West Ham’s sporting director suggested he is not especially interested in a post-playing career on the training pitch.

Steve Cooper, Michael Carrick and Jose Mourinho were all mentioned as potential replacements, although one of the strongest candidates in recent weeks proved to be Will Still.

The 31-year-old Englishman left French club Reims last week which led to speculation he could take over at either West Ham or Sunderland.

The news that Lopetegui is likely to join the Hammers has now paved the way for Still to make the move to the Stadium of Light.

Former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, the current Uruguay boss, and West Brom’s Carlos Corberan also featured on new betting sites as potential candidates, but that door has been closed by the news Lopetegui has reportedly agreed a deal.

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Greg Lea

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