Jack Sullivan defends West Ham for pursuit of Julen Lopetegui during David Moyes tenure

Jack Sullivan defends West Ham for pursuit of Julen Lopetegui during David Moyes tenure

West Ham director Jack Sullivan has responded to those who criticised the club in their pursuit of a new manager while David Moyes was still in charge.

The Hammers confirmed the appointment of former Wolves manager Julen Lopetegui earlier this month after Moyes left upon the expiration of his contract.

Formal confirmation of Lopetegui’s arrival, however, was delayed until after the end of the season amid a sense of regret internally about the public pursuit of a replacement for the Scot, who led the Irons to Europa Conference League glory last year.

Sporting CP boss Ruben Amorim was also spotted flying to London for talks with West Ham in April but later apologised to the club’s supporters for the timing of that trip.

“I think it is incredibly tough that everything is so public now, everyone’s got a smartphone that people can take pictures on,” Sullivan told The Sports Agents podcast.

“I think everyone’s hope is to do it as dignified as possible, nobody wants to embarrass someone, everyone wants the best result for everyone.

“And to be honest with you David Moyes left at the end of his contract, it wasn’t like we terminated the contract early and I think when you look at Dad’s [David] and Karren’s track record is that they always keep managers until they have to part ways.”

Lopetegui, whose official job title is “head coach”, vowed to make a “big, big noise” in east London after signing a two-year contract with the option of a further year.

The 57-year-old will officially start work on July 1 but is closing in on his first signing ahead of what is likely to be a significant defensive overhaul.

Flamengo’s Fabricio Bruno is nearing a move worth an initial £12.5m plus a potential further £2.5m in add-ons after talks between the two clubs.

West Ham are also in talks with Sheffield United goalkeeper Wes Foderingham about a move once his contract expires with the Yorkshire club next month.

Listen to the full interview on The Sports Agents podcast this evening on Global Player