West Ham appoint ex-Madrid coach Lopetegui

West Ham have confirmed the appointment of Julen Lopetegui to replace David Moyes as head coach in an announcement on Thursday.

Lopetegui, who has reportedly signed a two-year deal with an option for an extra season, was most recently in charge of Wolves during the 2022-23 campaign, while he has also had stints with the Spain national team, Porto, Real Madrid and Sevilla, where he won the Europa League in 2020.

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“I feel very happy, first of all, to be able to be part of the future of this big club,” Lopetegui said in a statement. “We will try to put our stamp on the club.

“I feel that we have a fantastic platform. I think the last few years have been very good years to have this base, of course, but my ambition as a coach is always to be better and better, to achieve more and bigger aims and to encourage and improve the players, the team, and to compete because football is about this — to compete. We are very ambitious about this.

“I am where I want to be. I am here because I want to be here and for us it was a fantastic day when we closed our agreement here because our commitment is 100% to be here. We had other opportunities, but I am very happy that West Ham chose me because I chose West Ham too, so we are really happy about this.”

Sporting CP manager Rúben Amorim was also considered for the West Ham position and held meetings with the club in London last month.

However, sources told ESPN that West Ham officials were impressed with Lopetegui’s previous work, while Amorim has since confirmed he will remain at Sporting.

“Julen lives and breathes football,” West Ham’s technical director Tim Steidten said. “He thinks deeply about the game, he is tactically astute and he has shown he can adapt to work in different leagues, in different countries, with national teams, and in each situation he has shown his outstanding qualities.

“Julen is highly experienced in the way we will now work at West Ham United and I am looking forward to working with him to grow a successful future for the club.”

Moyes’ departure from the club by mutual consent was confirmed earlier in May ahead of the final two Premier League games of the season against Manchester City and Luton Town.

West Ham beat Luton 3-1 but fell to City at the Etihad on the final day of the season, with the result confirming Pep Guardiola’s team as champions for an unprecedented fourth successive season.

Despite winning the Europa Conference League last season — which ended the east London club’s 43-year wait for a trophy — Moyes had been under increasing pressure following a run of poor performances that culminated in a 5-0 away thrashing at the hands of Chelsea.

The Scot confirmed after the final day loss to City that he has “had some things come to me already,” though added he’d like to spend some time with his family before returning to employment.

Information from ESPN’s James Olley was included in this report.

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