Lopetegui passed up Premier League opportunity prior to Spain & Real Madrid debacles

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A man who was dumped from international and domestic posts in his homeland during 2018 has revealed that he could have moved to England

Julen Lopetegui has revealed that he passed up a Premier League opportunity prior to becoming manager of the Spain national side.

A two-year spell at Porto had seen the 52-year-old begin to register on the radar of sides across Europe.

Interest was shown from England, with another change of scenery appealing to the Spaniard.

He was, however, to ultimately head home after being given the opportunity to succeed the iconic Vicente del Bosque.

Lopetegui, who had previously spent time working with Spain’s youth sides up to the Under-21 set-up, was to guide La Roja to the 2018 World Cup.

He never got the chance to take in an outing at a major competition, though, after being relieved of his duties on the eve of the tournament in Russia.

Having agreed to become the new boss at Real Madrid, those in charge of the national side decided that his focus had shifted elsewhere and he was no longer the right man for the job.

Lopetegui will be regretting that call after enduring a torrid time at the Santiago Bernabeu.

He lasted just a matter of months with the Blancos before being unceremoniously sacked on the back of a humbling 5-1 Clasico defeat to Barcelona in October.

Things could have been very different, though, had he taken the chance to head for England in 2016.

"We were close to going to England when the offer [from Spain] came," Lopetegui told The Coaches’ Voice YouTube channel.

"They convinced me to lead the project up to the World Cup and that's what we accepted.

"We came from various championships when things hadn't come off.

"I understand that the team had potential, as it showed in those two magnificent years."

Lopetegui has been out of work since leaving his role at Real.

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They passed their managerial baton to Santiago Solari, after seeing him impress on a caretaker basis, but he would also fail to see out the season.

Zinedine Zidane is now back at the Bernabeu, with the Frenchman returning to the Spanish capital less than a year after walking away from a previous spell at the club.

He has overseen the climax to a forgettable and trophyless campaign, but is expected to be backed in the summer transfer market as the Blancos seek to rectify the mistakes of the recent past.

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