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Managerial carousel – From Pochettino to Tuchel, elite managers on the move

From up-and-coming Kieran McKenna to veteran David Moyes, several managers will swap allegiances in England and abroad this summer.

As European football braces for another round of transfer dealings, clubs are out in the market searching for stability in the dugout before diving into personnel adjustments.

Jurgen Klopp’s departure from Liverpool after nine years is arguably the most significant managerial change, but it’s not the only one grabbing headlines. 

Chelsea’s decision to part ways with Mauricio Pochettino after just one season has caught everyone by surprise, while Roberto De Zerbi’s sudden exit from Brighton & Hove Albion came out of the blue.

Following a disappointing stint at Bayern Munich, ex-Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel could return to the Premier League sooner than expected amid talks linking him with a Stamford Bridge reunion.

There’s a veil of uncertainty surrounding Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag’s future, with speculation intensifying about potential replacements and the club’s direction going forward.

It promises to be a turbulent summer as we look at the upcoming storm of changes. 

Kieran McKenna

Fresh off claiming the League Managers’ Association Manager of the Year award, McKenna can choose from an array of options as his impressive spell at Ipswich Town draws to a close. 

The 38-year-old was the mastermind behind Ipswich’s stunning runner-up finish in the Championship and the club’s first Premier League promotion since the 2001/02 season.

Chelsea and Man United have emerged as potential suitors, but the former Red Devils assistant manager seems close to taking De Zerbi’s job at Brighton. 

McKenna’s lack of top-flight experience is perhaps the only reason he’ll have to wait a while longer before taking charge of an elite club, which seems inevitable at some point. 

Roberto De Zerbi

Had Klopp left Anfield last summer, De Zerbi would’ve probably been his heir after his historic first season at the Amex Stadium. 

Even Klopp tried to broker the Italian tactician’s arrival when the Seagulls narrowly lost at Liverpool in March, praising his style of play and football philosophy. 

But the 44-year-old’s career has turned upside down towards the end of the season, culminating with amicable separation after a 2-0 home loss to Man United on the final day

From one of the hottest managerial prospects on the island to an unemployed outcast, De Zerbi’s career seems destined to continue outside England. 

Francesco Farioli

If talks with McKenna go sideways, Brighton could extend their search for De Zerbi’s replacement beyond the Premier League borders and turn to Ligue 1. 

That route would lead to Nice and their 35-year-old rising star Francesco Farioli, who used to work with his former boss at Sassuolo as a goalkeeping coach. 

Farioli arrived on the French Riviera as a relatively unknown entity last summer but made an instant impact, guiding Los Aiglons to a fifth-place finish in his first season at the helm.

Despite being De Zerbi’s protege, he sees the game from a completely different angle, resembling the ‘old Italian school’ of defensive-minded specialists. 

Thomas Tuchel 

Farioli’s chances of landing a job in the Premier League are thin, but Tuchel’s potential return to England is already generating significant buzz despite his underwhelming stint at Bayern. 

In addition to being linked with another spell at the Bridge, the German has attracted Man United’s attention amid Ten Hag’s woeful campaign and the upcoming structural changes under INEOS.

Leaving Bayern without a trophy for the first time since 2011 will damage Tuchel’s CV, but his miraculous Champions League triumph with Chelsea is still a good invitation for troubled sides to acquire his services. 

After slumping to their lowest Premier League finish since 1990, the Red Devils may need a wartime manager, which could boost Tuchel’s hopes of finding a new home in Manchester.

Mauricio Pochettino

Ten Hag could still salvage his position at Old Trafford if he beats Manchester City in the FA Cup final this weekend, though it would not necessarily guarantee his long-term future at the club.

His possible exit would open the door for Tuchel. However, Pochettino seems better positioned to take over after reshaping Chelsea’s fortunes down the final stretch this season.

United’s interest in the Argentine dates back to his time at Tottenham Hotspur, with the Evening Standard stating it’s a ‘matter of time’ before he takes charge of the 20-time Premier League winners.

Apart from Man United, Pochettino has several more admirers. Bayern and several Saudi Pro League clubs have set their sights on him. 

Vincent Kompany

The Bavarians hypothesis has faded in the wake of shocking news that the record-time Bundesliga champions have agreed personal terms with Vincent Kompany. 

As if failing to keep Burnley at the elite table was nothing, the Germans have opted for the ex-Manchester City captain to fill the vacancy after Tuchel’s departure.

Perhaps seduced by the Clarets’ memorable 2022/23 Championship campaign, Bayern see the Belgian as a gamble worth taking as they bid to shape a new era after a 2023/24 fiasco. 

David Moyes

A sub-par ninth-place finish in the season just gone spelt the end of David Moyes’ second stint at West Ham United and the dawn of a new day under Julen Lopetegui

The 61-year-old’s skills are no longer in high demand, yet numerous underachieving Premier League clubs would use a manager of his stature. 

It’s not like there will be a tug-of-war for Moyes’ signature, but the experienced Scottish tactician shouldn’t stay long on the sidelines. 

Jose Mourinho

Another former Man United manager is on the lookout for a new opportunity. 

Mourinho has been unemployed since being dismissed by Roma in January, though his time away from the sport is about to end.

Recently approached by Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce, the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ is the latest household name linked with Saudi Arabia. 

He turned down a lucrative offer in the desert last summer, but a shortage of interested parties in Europe could make him reconsider a switch to the Middle East this time around.

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