Wolves' next manager: Three potential replacements for Nuno Santo

  • Tom Kelly
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo instructing his players against Fulham

Wolves have reportedly already begun their search for Nuno Espirito Santo's successor amid concerns he may leave in the summer. 

What's the latest? 

The Daily Mail has reported that the Wolverhampton club are beginning to plan for life without Nuno, who has managed at the Molineux helm for nearly four years. 

It is understood that the club are currently identifying successors for the Portuguese boss, as there are concerns that he might move on in the coming months. 

Nuno guided Wolves back into the Premier League and has become a popular figure amongst the fanbase, but the 47-year-old may begin to look elsewhere. 

Why would Nuno leave Wolves? 

During his time at Molineux, the Portuguese manager has had an incredibly successful stint with the club. He helped Wolves achieve promotion to the Premier League in his first full season and then managed to record back-to-back seventh-place finishes in the English top-flight. 

Transforming a club from a Championship side to a Europa League outfit is an impressive feat. However, it's safe to say that life in Wolverhampton has gone fairly stale over the past year. 

Injuries, such as Raul Jimenez's skull fracture, have hampered Wolves' season and the club currently sit 12th in the Premier League. 

Nuno may well be looking for a new challenge as a result and was linked to the Tottenham job prior to Jose Mourinho's sacking on Monday. 

Who are his potential replacements?

According to the Daily Mail, there are three potential replacements in the pipeline and, unsurprisingly, they are all Portuguese. 

The names that have been linked to the possible vacancy are Vitor Pereira, Rui Faria, and Bruno Lage. All three managers are currently out of work.

Pereira has previously taken charge at the likes of Porto, Fenerbache, and Olympiacos but his most recent job came in China, where he managed Shanghai Port for three years and departed at the end of 2020. 

Faria is best known for working alongside Mourinho for 17 years. However, he didn't follow the Special One to Tottenham and instead took his first managerial job, where he became the boss of Qatari side Al-Duhail SC. He only lasted a year in the role and left in January 2020. 

Lage was previously the assistant manager at the likes of Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday but was given his first crack at management in his homeland with Benfica. The Portuguese boss lasted for 74 games but stepped down in June last year due to a poor run of results. 

What role could Jorge Mendes play?

The super-agent will likely have huge say as to who will take the managerial hot seat if Santo departs. Nuno is a client of Mendes' and it's likely that the next appointment will be as well.

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Which Wolves manager signed Pedro Neto?

All three of the potential replacements are Mendes clients and so are a substantial number of the Wolves playing squad. 

Mendes has high levels of influence at Molineux and he could therefore have a pretty big say in not only who their next manager is, but also who their first signings will be.

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