Wednesday 21 March 2018

Huddersfield owner Hoyle feared losing Wagner had they not won promotion

David Wagner will lead Huddersfield into the Premier League next season
David Wagner will lead Huddersfield into the Premier League next season

Huddersfield owner and chairman Dean Hoyle admitted head coach David Wagner would probably have left the club had they not secured promotion to the Premier League.

Wagner has turned down offers from home and abroad to sign a new two-year deal with the Terriers after their penalty shootout win against Reading in last month's Sky Bet Championship play-off final.

The 45-year-old German is ready to "start a new chapter" with the West Yorkshire club having guided them back to the top flight for the first time in 45 years.

"David trusts me and I trust David," Hoyle told a press conference at the club's Canalside training base.

"I'm realistic as a chairman and if that penalty had not gone in at Wembley then David would probably have gone on to bigger and better things, maybe in the Premier League.

"I could have lost David. That would have been a real shame after what we created, but that's life.

"But we achieved the dream and David has made a really good point. We won't be competitive financially, but we weren't in the Championship.

"We're going to spend more money than the club has ever spent this year and give it a really good crack.

"Last season there was interest in David, both domestic and foreign, but David stayed loyal to the football club and that means a lot to me."

Wagner's stock has risen sharply since he and assistant Christoph Buehler left their roles with Borussia Dortmund reserves to replace Chris Powell in November 2015.

Both Wagner and Buehler, 43, signed new undisclosed contracts in June last year and Hoyle has moved again to keep them following their stunning success.

"We're not stupid," Wagner said. "We're probably the biggest underdog ever to start in the Premier League.

"We know this. Does it change that we are ambitious? Nope. We are not in the Premier League to say 'hello' and 'thank you' after one season. We want to stay there. "

Even before promotion was secured, clubs throughout Europe began to take note of the Wagner revolution at Huddersfield.

He was linked with German sides Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt in December and distanced himself from vacancies at various other clubs, including Leicester, West Ham and Dortmund as Town's spectacular season unfolded.

"I've always had the feeling in the last 18 months that I have an owner on my side, who really trusts and believes in all my decisions, even if he sometimes doesn't understand my decisions," Wagner said.

"We started a journey, we said this 18 months ago, and we're still on this journey so we're able to open a new chapter now for this football club."

Hoyle added: " We know we have to really step it up. There will be lots more signings I'm sure, but it's all about quality not quantity."

Town have signed Belgium international striker Laurent Depoitre from Porto for a fee believed to be £3.5million and have turned midfielder Aaron Mooy's season-long loan from Manchester City into a permanent deal for an initial fee of £8m that could rise to £10m.

Wagner confirmed the club hoped to complete a reported £11.5m deal to sign Montpelier striker Steve Mounie, who is undergoing a medical, and that Town were still in talks with Derby over a proposed move for Thomas Ince.

The Terriers boss added Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia, on loan at Hull last season, was also a target.

Huddersfield have also signed Danish goalkeeper Jonas Lossl on a season-long loan from Bundesliga side Mainz.

The Premier League new boys have the option to sign the 28-year-old on a permanent deal next summer.

Wagner said on the club website: "Jonas has all the skills that you want from a modern goalkeeper. He is a good shot-stopper, he is a real presence and he is good with the ball at his feet too.

"I also know he is also a good character - a real family man, who speaks fluent English. He will fit in perfectly with our squad."

Press Association

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