Julen Lopetegui was Monchi’s first choice for Sevilla job

Sevilla chairman Jose Castro revealed that sporting director Monchi had listed new manager Julen Lopetegui as the best man for the club.

Just under eight months following his dismissal at Real Madrid, Lopetegui has returned to management at fellow La Liga side Sevilla.

The 52-year-old will be desperate to show everyone why he deserved over 10 La Liga matches at the Santiago Bernabeu dugout in Andalusia next season. And Sevilla will need Lopetegui to be at the top of his game after their miserable ending last term.

Despite leading La Liga in November, Los Rojiblancos suffered a terrible loss of form mid-season that saw manager Pablo Machin receive his marching orders and Joaquin Caparros returning on an interim basis.

Under Caparros, Sevilla ended the season with a sixth-place La Liga finish and Europa League football.

With Monchi returning from AS Roma earlier this year, however, Sevilla are now targetting a return to their glory days during the Spaniard’s first stint as sporting director.

Prior to leaving the club in 2017, Monchi had won 11 trophies at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium. And it turns out the 50-year-old’s favourite to replace Caparros at Sevilla was Lopetegui.

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“We’ve brought in the best sporting director, which is Monchi, and he says the best coach for the Sevilla project is Lopetegui,” said Castro, according to Goal.

“He is the best coach for me as well.”

Lopetegui himself said: “I know what coming to Sevilla means. As an opponent, I’ve been on the receiving end.

“Now we need to work alongside Monchi, who is number one in his job. We’re going to have a fantastic squad I’m sure.

“The Sevilla academy has always had answers. It has always contributed important and solid players consistently.

“We’ll be very alert to it, like we should be. If someone comes in it will be because they’re going to make us better, that is certain.”

He added: “[Pablo] Sarabia and [Ever] Banega are two excellent parts of the squad Monchi is trying to build.”

SEVILLE, SPAIN – JUNE 05: Julen Lopetegui attends to the press as he is unveiled as manager of Sevilla FC on June 05, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

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