Football News

Julen Lopetegui turned down “dizzying” managerial offer from Tottenham, says Sevilla president

By Ben Green

Published: 17:37, 23 June 2021

Julen Lopetegui has joined a growing list of managerial candidates to reject the vacant position at Tottenham, according to Sevilla president Jose Castro.

Tottenham have been in the hunt for a new manager since Jose Mourinho’s unceremonious departure a week before the club contested in the League Cup final against Manchester City in April, with interim coach Ryan Mason overseeing a 1-0 defeat.

Since then Spurs have been in the market for a successor to Mourinho, but have had little luck in trying to lure an elite tactician to north London, holding talks with the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte, Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso.

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Recently-appointed director of football Fabio Paratici has been drafted in to oversee the appointment process, but to no avail so far, with uncertainties over Harry Kane’s future also providing an unwanted backdrop to the club’s search for a new manager.

And it would seem another of Europe’s most-coveted coaches has rebuffed interest from the English capital, with Sevilla president Castro confirming Europa League-winning manager Lopetegui has snubbed an approach.

In an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena SER, Castro said: “Julen rang me and told me. He said he’d received offers he’d not listened to in addition to a dizzying one from Tottenham.

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“But he said he doesn’t forget things and that he is very motivated here. We believed and believe in him, giving him a two-year contract extension, and I’m sure he will bring much more to the club.

“You see his ability and leadership every day. Some coaches are more driven by economic factors but Julen is very clear that he is happy here and he even said it would be very difficult to find a better place to work than here.”

Lopetegui at Sevilla

Lopetegui was controversially dismissed as Spain boss just before the 2018 World Cup got underway after Real Madrid publicly announced that he would take the reins at the Bernabeu once the tournament finished.

He joined Los Blancos with a bruised reputation following that acrimonious departure as national coach, and he endured a few teething issues in the Bernabeu dugout, which ultimately led to his sacking after only four months.

Having then been out of the game for nearly eight months, Lopetegui returned to management, joining Sevilla in June 2019, where he has since restored his reputation and established himself as one of the finest coaches on the continent.

In his maiden campaign at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Lopetegui guided Sevilla to fourth in La Liga and won the Europa League, beating Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan 3-2 in the final.

In 2020/21, he achieved another fourth-placed finish in Spain, keeping Sevilla in the title race right up until the end, while a Copa del Rey semi-final appearance and a round-of-16 finish in the Champions League were commendable feats as well.