The news that Jürgen Klopp could leave Borussia Dortmund has sent bookmakers' into a spin in regards to where he could end up next, should his exit be confirmed.
Dortmund have called a press conference for 12.30pm BST today amid reports that Klopp has asked for his contract to be terminated following a disappointing season in the Bundesliga. With a lack of possible destinations for the 47-year-old to end up given the current state of managerial vacancies in Europe, it’s not clear where Klopp will wind up, but here’s a look at the current leading possibilities.
The obvious answer would be at the reigning – but soon to be dethroned – Premier League champions, given Manchester City's poor season in all competitions that sees them set to finish the campaign without any silverware. Questions surrounding Manuel Pellegrini’s future refuse to go away despite the Chilean’s insistence that he will remain in the job, and with their slump showing no signs of halting following the 4-2 derby defeat to Manchester United, the pressure is on Pellegrini to turn the side around before the season is out.
Tactically, Klopp would not be an ideal fit at the Etihad, but with a squad revamp on the cards during the summer and enough money to bring in Klopp’s desired transfer targets, it’s a move that cannot be ruled out in the slightest.
Another manager finding himself under pressure is Carlo Ancelotti, given that he has the unenviable task of following up a Champions League-winning season. The unusually high standards set at Real Madrid mean that there’s been a high level of managerial turnover in recent years, and failure to win the La Liga title or another Champions League crown could spell the end for Ancelotti. The odds on Klopp joining Real have already come in to 3/1, and Spain would also give the German a large pay day given the financial power of Real.
This time last year, Klopp was being heavily linked with a move to Arsenal after another season of near-misses appeared to be on the cards. As it transpired though, Arsenal went on to win the FA Cup, and Arsene Wenger signed a new three-year deal to take his reign as Gunners boss through to 2017. The prospect of Wenger either leaving or being sacked this season is unimaginable at present, given the club find themselves in second and in the FA Cup semi-finals for a second straight year. However, an option for Klopp would be to take a season out of the manager game, much like Pep Guardiola’s self-imposed one-year sabbatical, and assess his options this time next year. The Arsenal job may be a far more realistic option in 2016.
There’s no doubting Brendan Rodgers is under pressure to succeed at Liverpool given the enormous outlay on new signings that simply haven’t cut it at Anfield. Failure to qualify for the Champions League this season doesn’t seem likely to end Rodgers’ reign at Liverpool, but should Klopp become available, the club’s American owners might start getting that itch to make a change while the opportunity presents itself. With Luis Suarez gone, Steven Gerrard leaving at the end of the season and doubts over Raheem Sterling’s future, a new era is dawning at Anfield. Could there be a new manager to lead it?
As things stand, Barcelona are favourites to win the La Liga title, though their gap at the top was cut to two points following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Seville. Much like the situation at Real Madrid, Luis Enrique’s future will depend on success at the end of the season, both domestically and on the European stage. After a tricky start that involved reported rifts in the Barcelona camp and problems with Lionel Messi, Enrique has done well to lead the Catalans to the top of the table, although the job is not done yet and his future isn’t entirely secure.
PSG finally look to be making inroads in their quest to become a European heavyweight following the significant investment from the Middle East. They face a Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona which begins today, and lead Ligue 1 by a solitary point over Olympique Lyonnais. However, much like their money-rich rivals across Europe, failure tends to come with a manager dismissal, which means Laurent Blanc remains under pressure to show PSG can beat the likes of Barcelona and Chelsea regularly, having knocked the Blues out of Europe in the last-16. It could prove an attractive option for Klopp should he feel like becoming part of the Paris project, though whether Ligue 1 is a direction he wants to move in at this stage of his career is uncertain.
With the uncertainty surrounding any manager at St James’ Park, you get the feeling that a period of upheaval is always right around the corner. So in the knowledge that John Carver is only in charge until the end of the season – and hasn’t impressed in terms of results since taking over from Alan Pardew – it’s likely we’ll be seeing another change at the Magpies in the not too distant future. A move to Newcastle would be unlikely given it represents a step down in the absence of European football, but it would give the chance for Klopp to build a project much like he did at Dortmund, returning a once all-conquering club back to its former glories. While Newcastle can’t be classed in the all-conquering department, they were a mainstay at the top the English game for some time an infamous fall down the league and subsequent relegation. Klopp could just be the man to take them back to the top.
The most likely option though, as mentioned in the Arsenal section above, is a year out of the game. It's already being reported that exhaustion is behind Klopp's surprise decision to call it a day at Dortmund, and a year out would give him time to refresh and assess his options when there may be more on the table.
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