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Nuno Espirito Santo will retire as manager of the Wolves after the end of the season

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Nuno Espirito Santo will retire as manager of the Wolves after the end of the season

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo will retire after the final round of the Premier League season on Sunday, ending a four-year spell in which he led the club out of the second division and into the Europa League quarter-finals.

The Portuguese coach is linked to the vacant role at Tottenham, who is looking for a full-time manager after the departure of Jose Mourinho last month. The wolves announced Nuno’s departure “by mutual consent” on Friday.

Including several Portuguese nationals, Nuno received a Wolves promotion to the Premier League at the end of his first year before stabilizing his squad in the top division with a final seventh place finish. Last season also reached the quarterfinals of the Europa League, losing to eventual winner Sevilla.

The Wolves cannot finish higher than 12th in the league this season, heading for their last game, at home to Manchester United, when up to 10,000 fans will be admitted to Molineux.

“Sunday will be a very emotional day,” said Nuno, “but I’m so happy that the fans will be back at Molineux and we’ll be able to share one last special moment together, like a pack.”

The team has run a staggering campaign that has not been helped by long-term injuries to key players such as Mexico striker Raul Jimenez and Spain defender Johnny Castro Otto.

Nuno also tried to bring a more attacking, expansive philosophy to a team whose style during the first two seasons in the Premier League was to play counterattack. This occasionally included giving up his long-favored 3-5-2 line-up to play four behind.

It really didn’t work out, as the Wolves are among the most difficult teams to watch this season. Only the four lowest teams have scored fewer goals than the Wolves’ 35s in 37 games.

Still, Nuno has demonstrated, especially during the first two seasons in the Premier League, that he has the tactical flair to train in a bigger team.

“Nuno brought us incredibly special moments in Wolves that will never be forgotten, but every chapter is over,” said Wolves executive chairman Jeff Shea.

“His loyalty and devotion over the last four years have been immeasurable, and we cannot thank him enough for the progress he has made for the Wolves.”

The Wolves said on Thursday that Jimenez, the team’s star player, should be able to play a “full role” for the club next season. He recently returned to training after a broken skull sustained in a league match against Arsenal in November.

“Further rehabilitation, based on the match, will begin in July and will initially be strictly controlled,” said club doctor Matt Perry. “This respects the fact that although his recovery looks complete, there is a big step from training to competition.”

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