All change please: Who's in and out at Europe's top clubs

All change please: Who's in and out at Europe's top clubs

© AFP 2022
February 21, 2024 at 6:08 PM
Fans favourite: Liverpool supporters display a banner featuring Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp
Fans favourite: Liverpool supporters display a banner featuring Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp. Photo: Ian Hodgson / AFP/File
Source: AFP

First, it was Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp, then Xavi at Barcelona and on Wednesday it was announced that Bayern Munich's Thomas Tuchel will also be quitting as a coach at the end of the season.

AFP Sport looks at who is out, who could be out and who might be coming in to take charge at some of Europe's top clubs.

Leaving

-- Jurgen Klopp last month announced his shock exit from Liverpool at the end of the season following almost nine years in charge. The German, who took the Anfield side to Champions League and Premier League titles, said he will not accept a new coaching job within the next year and will never coach another English team.

-- Xavi helped Barcelona to the La Liga title last season despite their serious financial problems but will leave the club at the end of this campaign. The former midfielder said he felt "liberated" by the decision to leave. "You are made to feel every day that you are not good enough," he said.

-- Thomas Tuchel will also be out of work in the summer after a disastrous run of three straight defeats saw Bayern Munich confirm his impending exit in June. Borussia Dortmund's late slip-up allowed Tuchel to secure an 11th straight Bundesliga title for Bayern last term, but they are eight points behind leaders Bayer Leverkusen this time around. Tuchel won the Champions League with Chelsea and two Ligue 1 titles with Paris Saint-Germain.

In danger

Ups and downs: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag
Ups and downs: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag. Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP/File
Source: AFP

-- Several high-profile coaches in England have found themselves in trouble, but they have so far dodged the sack thanks to a series of encouraging results after a tough period. Such is the case for Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, who has the backing of new co-owner Jim Ratcliffe. Mauricio Pochettino and Eddie Howe are in similar situations at Chelsea and Newcastle respectively.

-- It's in Italy where coaches at the big clubs are in the most precarious positions. Stefano Pioli (AC Milan) and Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus) are both under contract next season but could pack their bags in June if the season finishes badly for their teams. Napoli, whose title defence quickly turned into a disaster, are on the hunt for the right man long-term after sacking two coaches already this campaign.

-- Marseille are in the same boat in France after bringing in 70-year-old Jean-Louis Gasset -– the man dismissed by eventual champions Ivory Coast during the Africa Cup of Nations -- following unsuccessful spells under Marcelino and Gennaro Gattuso.

In demand

In demand: Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi
In demand: Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi. Photo: Glyn KIRK / AFP/File
Source: AFP

-- Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi has built such an impressive record at the relatively modest Premier League side that his name has already been mentioned as a successor to Xavi or Klopp. However, the 44-year-old Italian is under contract at the club until 2026 after taking Brighton to sixth place in his first season.

-- A world champion in 2010, a double European champion in 2008 and 2012 and with two Champions League winner medals from 2005 and 2014, Spaniard Xabi Alonso won everything as a player. He has also made an exceptional start to his coaching career at Bayer Leverkusen who are undefeated this season and boast an eight-point lead in the Bundesliga over Bayern Munich. Klopp already views him as a potential successor at Liverpool. Alonso, however, recently extended his contract at Leverkusen until June 2026.

-- Thiago Motta has taken unfashionable Bologna to fifth in Serie A with a combination of attacking, attractive football. The 41-year-old has even been mentioned as a future coach at PSG where he spent a large part of his playing career.

-- Serial title winner Zinedine Zidane, who led Real Madrid to three successive Champions League titles, is seen as a potential future coach of the French national team. Out of the game since 2021, his name is often discussed every time the coach of a big club is sacked. On Wednesday, he was already being linked with succeeding Tuchel at Bayern.

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© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022