Julen Lopetegui has decided to turn down the chance to manage Wolves for a second time after the club made him their first choice to succeed Bruno Lage.
The former Spain and Real Madrid boss held talks with Wolves chairman Jeff Shi at home this week and decided to turn down the offer due to family reasons.
Lopetegui was sacked by Sevilla last week and with his 92-year-old father believed to be ill he has opted not to return to the game immediately.
It’s a major setback for Wolves, who had pinned their hopes on Lopetegui and were confident he would accept. They also came close to hiring Lopetegui six years ago, only for him to take the Spanish national post instead.
It’s unclear if Wolves will be ready to continue interim management until the break for next month’s World Cup if they could try to convince Lopetegui again.
Managers Steve Davis and James Collins will continue to lead the team in the absence of a permanent boss as Wolves have a crucial game against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
Bo Svensson, the highly rated Mainz coach, could now start the race. The Dane was shortlisted by Brighton before they appointed Roberto De Zerbi and has a growing reputation.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglu is another with many admirers, although it would be a surprise if he were to leave Glasgow mid-season.