Sevilla wasted little time in appointing a new manager following the conclusion of the 2018-29 La Liga season, with former Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui stepping into the hot seat at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Despite a difficult 12 months, in which Lopetegui controversially left his post as head coach of the Spanish national team – to take up the post with Los Blancos – which ended poorly, after just three months, he is hopeful of resurrecting his career in Andalucia.
Caretaker boss Jaoquin Caparros’ strong end of season run secured Europa League football for the incoming Lopetegui, but there is still work to be done at the club.
Interest in their star names has apparently declined in recent weeks – much to the relief of the new manager – with tenuous links between FC Barcelona and last season’s top scorer Wissam Ben Yedder disappearing, as well as Serie A interest in midfielder Pablo Sarabia, following a strong showing in the last few months.
However he is well aware that he will have to move players on, if he wants to remodel the first team squad, in time for the season kick off in August.
Experienced defender Gabriel Mercado has left the club, after his contract expired, with other established names on the list of potential departures.
Club captain Simon Kjaer is widely reported to be considering a return to Turkey, while midfield pair Nolito and Roque Mesa have openly admitted the club want to move them on, and Luis Muriel has already completed a move to Italian side Atalanta.
Getting players into the club could well prove to be more difficult, with the board insisting that Lopetegui raises funds, before the agree to finance major moves.
The money generated by Muriel’s departure was almost immediately reinvested into the purchase of Munas Dabbur, from Ligue 1 club Nantes, with Max Wober and Diego Carlos’ arrivals the limit of their pre-sales war chest.
Lopetegui is hopeful that the sales of Nolito, Mesa, and potentially Kjaer, will generate in the region of €40m – which would be enough to finance one more big signing before the season starts.
The have been linked with a move for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, who has been made available by Lopetegui’s former club, but they will face strong competition from teams both inside and outside Spain.
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