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Bruno Lage confirmed as the new Wolves’ manager

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, famously known as Wolves, are a step closer to welcoming their new manager, Bruno Miguel Silva do Nascimento, also known as Bruno Lage, following the departure of their former manager Nuno Espirito Santo from Molineux.

The Wolves is based in the city of Wolverhampton in the west of Midlands, England and is one of the co-founders of the Football League. The Football Club has been playing at the Molineux Stadium since 1889 and competing in the Premier League on the top division of English football since it won promotion in 2018.

Nuno, who has been managing the club from September 2020, bid his team and fans farewell on Sunday, after the final Premier League match with Manchester United. Nuno quitted Molineux after four successful seasons with the Midlands team, during which he led them to victory from the Championship in 2018. However, a 13th position finish and poor performance in 2020/2021 made him leave the club by mutual agreement by the end of the season. To quote his part of his farewell message, he stated, “since the first day we got in Compton, our mission was to make a positive change and push this football club forward, and I am excited to declare that we did it every single day. We achieved our goals, we did it with passion and that we did it together.”

Bruno Lage is set to succeed his compatriot Nuno Espirito Santo in a couple of days after a successful hearing that got him awarded with a work permit. He did not automatically qualify to work in post-Brexit Britain. We expect to get an official announcement from the Midlands Club as soon as they finalize Bruno’s Backroom staff’s contracts and work permit.

Born in Setubal, the 45 years old, Bruno Lage began his coaching career within the youth position of Vitória de Setubal in 1997-1999. Like Nuno, Lage may be a Portuguese manager represented by super-agent Jorge Mendes, who has close ties with Fosun, the club owners.

He then coached every youth team of Benfica from 2004-2012 before moving to the United Arabs Emirates to coach Shabab Al-Ahli Club’s under 19 and B group until 2014.

In 2015, Bruno got appointed as an assistant to Carlos Carvalhal at Sheffield Wednesday. He helped direct the Owls to the Championship play-off final in 2016, barely losing out to Hull City. In the same period, Bruno also helped Sheffield Wednesday beat the Premier League Champions Arsenal 3-0 in the fourth round of the League, making this their best season since 2000.

Bruno then left Hillsborough in December 2017 after Carvalhal’s contract got terminated through a mutual agreement. Later on, he joined Swansea City in England, again, as an assistant to Carvalhal. The duo was tasked with keeping the club in the Premier League, and they saw to it that the club had two excellent victories over Liverpool and Arsenal; 1-0 and 3-1, respectively. Despite the hard work and good results, the duo could not rescue the club from relegation to the Championship and, therefore, left Swansea City in May 2018.

Two months later, Bruno returned to Benfica and was put in charge of the reserve team taking over from Helder Cristovao. He made progress and took control of Benfica’s first team midway through the season following the dismissal of Rui Vitoria. Bruno then oversaw a 4-2 home win, days after assuming his new role. This move earned him a permanent job eight days later.

Bruno Lage led the club to two consecutive victories at the Lisbon Derby before guiding his side to a 10-0 thrashing over Nacional, the Primeira Liga’s highest margin of conclusion since 1964- the most significant win at the new Estado da Luz. They were deemed unlikely to win the title; Benfica managed eighteen wins, one draw, and 0 defeats to be topped champions in one of the foremost beautiful ends to a season ever seen in Portugal.

Is the deal sealed?

A contract still has to be discussed, but Wolves don’t expect any issues there. Lage’s new backroom team is another box to tick. The team too must apply for work permits, but, again, Wolves believe this is for transparency. Bruno didn’t appear in the hearing in person, but his written application was handed over by the FA, who, despite Bruno not meeting the given criteria of working in a “top league” for a lengthy period in the past five years, pointed out his work with Benfica, Swansea and Sheffield Wednesday. In the latter two teams, he was Carlos Carvalhal’s assistant.

His appointment and the backroom team possibly will be announced at the same time in a couple of days. Lage is in Portugal and will likely start working at Compton Park when the footballers report for pre-season coaching. That date had been saved as 5th July by the former boss with a likelihood of changing under the new boss. Bruno was the first choice to replace Nuno, Wolves looked at other aspiring candidates, and it’s felt he is the best for the club- he has close ties as the team had nine players from Portugal in the Premier League in the current season.

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