The managerial merry go round
Published: 02.04.13 / Written by: David Gold
Usually during the close season, talk is mostly of which players are going to sign for which clubs.
Then once they have moved, there are questions over who can replace said departed player. Managers come and go regularly, but with financial sanity being forced on teams across Europe, and a host of big name coaches seemingly on the move this summer, this could be a close season where managers make the headlines almost as much as the players.
None will garner quite as much attention as Jose Mourinho, with Pep Guardiola already ending speculation over his future by pledging to coach Bayern Munich. Mourinho is almost certainly leaving Real Madrid after a poisonous spell at the Bernabeu, where he has done his best to alienate almost everyone associated with the club.
So where will the Portuguese end up? England is often seen as the most likely destination. The two main German giants are not hunting for a new coach, Mourinho does not like Spain or Italy, and there are teams in the Premier League looking for a manager. Notably Chelsea, whose interim Rafa Benitez could take Mourinho’s spot at the Bernabeu. But also Manchester City, who seem likely to dispense with the services of Roberto Mancini after a frustrating season.
Then there is also Paris St Germain, who may get rid of Carlo Ancelotti whatever happens come what May. The big spending French team would be ideal for Mourinho – more likely to spend big than City or Chelsea, both looking to live within their means at last. And guaranteed silverware is an essential part of satiating Mourinho’s ego.
If he does go to PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City will be on the look out for alternatives. Two in demand coaches will be Mauricio Pellegrini and Ernesto Valverde. Chilean Pellegrini has done wonders with Malaga of late, and has a good reputation after his time with Villarreal, when he turned them into a Spanish and European force, whilst he had an excellent season with Real Madrid before being fired. Manchester City are reportedly interested, and Chelsea possibly too. Valverde is being linked with a host of jobs at present. The Valencia coach is linked with the Manchester City post, but also with becoming Barcelona’s next boss if Tito Vilanova is unable to continue in his position long term because of his illness.
Another coach high in demand is Michael Laudrup, although he appears to have hinted he will be at Swansea this time next season. But he could walk into the job at Real Madrid or Chelsea possibly. Barcelona would be a more difficult post for him given the way he left them as a player for Real.
Ancelotti would surely be in demand if he leaves Paris St Germain, and could walk into the post at Real Madrid if they opt for him over Benitez. He could also be a contender for the Valencia position or even for a return to former club AC Milan. It will be interesting to see if Milan fire Massimo Allegri, who seemed like a dead man walking earlier this season but who has steadied the ship impressively. Elsewhere in Serie A Andrea Stramaccioni’s position at Inter Milan looks under threat after a poor run, whilst Roma will be looking for a permanent successor to Zdenek Zeman. Roberto Mancini could be a leading contender for that position.
In Germany Schalke 04 will likely be looking for a replacement for Jens Keller, who has not sparkled since taking the reins in December. Other clubs looking for coaches could include Anzhi Makhachkala, with Guus Hiddink set to leave at the season’s end. It all amounts to an intriguing summer in store for Europe’s big names, with a host of leading coaches set to be on the look out for work and no shortage of jobs available.