It’s not new to see speculation surrounding football’s biggest names ramping up once the domestic season reaches its conclusion. However, it is usually the future of the players that occupies the back pages, not the managers.
This year is different. Some of the most decorated clubs in Europe are on the lookout for new bosses, and it just so happens that some of the best coaches in the game find themselves available. Funny old game, isn’t it?
It is difficult to keep on top of it all, so let’s go through the biggest movers and shakers together.
Tottenham Hotspur - OUT: Jose Mourinho
It’s been a turbulent few months for Spurs. The morning after they had announced to the world that they were one of six Premier League clubs to join the much-criticised European Super League, serial winner Jose Mourinho was also relieved of his duties after less than 18 months in charge.
While they reached the Europa Conference League on the final day of the season, club talisman Harry Kane has, for the first time, been making noises about wanting to leave the club in search of trophies. Daniel Levy will be desperate for some good news, and he will be hoping that it arrives in the shape of a sensational return for Mauricio Pochettino.
Levy himself admits that sacking the Argentinian was the worst mistake of his professional career, and is said to be working hard behind the scenes to bring back a man who took Spurs to the Champions League final and guided them to four successive top-four league finishes.
Additionally, if anyone can keep Kane at Spurs, it is probably Pochettino.
Real Madrid - OUT: Zinedine Zidane
A potential stumbling block in a sensational ‘Poch’ return to Spurs lies in the reported interest of Spanish giants Real Madrid. Just last week, after failing to defend their La Liga title, Zinedine Zidane left Los Blancos for a second time.
With three Champions League titles and two La Liga crowns, ‘Zizou’ is one of the most decorated managers in the game today, and the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and even France are said to be interested in his services.
Then there is the small matter of who could replace him at the Bernabeu.
Antonio Conte, who has recently left Inter, is currently top of the betting in a clear nod to the aforementioned managerial merry-go-round, with Pochettino also said to be high on their list. Former Galactico Raul has been consistently mentioned, and departing Germany boss Joachim Low is on the market after 15 years at the helm of Die Mannschaft.
It remains one of the biggest jobs in world football, and the Madrid hierarchy will demand a return to the top whoever comes in.
Inter Milan - OUT: Antonio Conte
Conte’s departure from Inter came after their first Serie A title in 11 years, and the former Premier League winner will be in high demand.
Madrid? Spurs? PSG? Another big job awaits the Italian, and he leaves a considerable void to be filled in Milan.
Once again, Zidane and Pochettino are names linked with the San Siro outfit, with Simone Inzaghi and Mauricio Sarri also well fancied. With the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Christian Eriksen said to be concerned with the departure of the much-respected 51-year-old, the next appointment needs to be carefully considered.
Paris Saint-Germain - OUT: Mauricio Pochettino?
While PSG are the first club on this list to still have a manager at the helm, the rumours surrounding the future of current leader Pochettino refuse to go away. In football, the ‘there’s no smoke without fire’ saying tends to hold some truth, and there is every chance that the Parisians will be on the lookout for a new boss in the near future.
It doesn’t take a football genius to figure out who would be at the top of their shopping list should they find themselves without a manager. Expect to see Zidane and Conte feature high up in the odds. Perhaps the European heavyweights need to spread their wings and look outside the obvious?
With Massimiliano Allegri and Mourinho recently appointed at Juventus and Roma respectively, that’s two of the biggest managerial names in the sport taken out of the running... or so you would think.
Bayern Munich moved quickly to replace soon-to-be Germany boss Hansi Flick with RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann, while Borussia Dortmund have already confirmed that Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Marco Rose is the man replacing Edin Terzic this summer.
Although plenty of the biggest jobs in Europe have now been filled, expect some continued club swapping at the top of the football pyramid in the coming weeks and months.