Wolves make QPR manager Michael Beale their top target to fill vacancy

Wolves have made the QPR manager, Michael Beale, their top target after deciding against a return to Molineux for Nuno Espírito Santo and being turned down by Julen Lopetegui.

Beale only took over at Loftus Road in June after leaving his post as assistant to Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa and has the club firmly in contention for promotion to the Premier League following an impressive start.

No official approach has been made for Beale, but Wolves hope to have him in place for Sunday’s match at home to their fellow strugglers Leicester. Wednesday’s 3-0 victory at home to Cardiff saw QPR go top of the Championship in Beale’s 16th game as a manager.

“It would be hard to walk away from QPR right now, and especially this young group,” the 42-year-old told Sky Sports after the match, and did not confirm whether any formal talks were scheduled with Wolves.

“I haven’t spoken to [the QPR director of football] Les Ferdinand or anyone, so as far as I’m aware nothing has changed,” Beale added. “I took the decision to turn my phone off because we had this game to concentrate on. The moment Les speaks to me, I’ll know one way or another.

“If an offer comes in officially, you don’t have to take it. You have to weigh up everything. There are a lot of questions you need to get answers to.” Beale went on to say it is “a dream of mine to manage in the Premier League. But is has to be the right opportunity, the right moment and the right club.”

Should any talks reach a positive outcome, Beale is believed to have an affordable release clause at Loftus Road. Wolves admire the style he has imposed at QPR and consider him one of the country’s most exciting young coaches.

The club’s interest in Beale marks a move away from clients of the Jorge Mendes agency. Bruno Lage, who was sacked this month, and Nuno are in the Mendes stable, as is Lopetegui, who rejected Wolves’ offer in order to stay closer to his elderly father in Spain.

Beale is in his first job as a manager and has previously coached at Rangers and São Paulo. Beale learned Portuguese during his stint in Brazil is a bonus for Wolves given that 11 of their first-team squad speak Portuguese as their first language.

Wolves held talks with Nuno, who was keen on returning to the job he left in May 2021, but the club decided to go in a different direction. Steve Davis has been in caretaker charge and Tuesday’s defeat at Crystal Palace could have been his final match before he likely returns to his role as coach of the under-18s.