Report: Zinedine Zidane, Arsene Wenger on Bayern Managerial Candidates Shortlist

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2018

GENEVA - JANUARY 20:  Former footballer Zinedine Zidane greets the current Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger while Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, looks on during a visit of the IWC Schaffhausen booth during the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie at Geneva Palexpo on January 20, 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland.  (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for IWC Schaffhausen)
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Bayern Munich are reportedly already looking at candidates to replace Niko Kovac as manager following their poor start to the season, with Arsene Wenger, Zinedine Zidane and Laurent Blanc mentioned as possibilities.

Bild (h/t Get French Football News) passed on the list of potential successors:

Bayern have endured a nightmare run of late, going winless in their last four matches across all competitions. With back-to-back Bundesliga losses, they've dropped to sixth in the standings.

Kovac was brought in amid much fanfare during the summer and was widely seen as the perfect candidate to rejuvenate the Bavarians.

That sense has already vanished, but as shared by sportswriter Archie Rhind-Tutt, the club's issues run deeper:

The Bundesliga giants have struggled to move on from Pep Guardiola, who moved to Manchester City in 2016. Carlo Ancelotti lasted little over a year at the Allianz Arena, and replacement Jupp Heynckes was always going to be a short-term fix.

Former player Kovac impressed with Eintracht Frankfurt to earn the job but has been forced to deal with a wave of early-season injuries. Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Rafinha are among the many players who have missed significant time already.

He's also working with a squad overly reliant on veterans in key areas. Out wide, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery continue to play heavy minutes, even though they're 34 and 35, respectively.

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Kovac isn't expected to be sacked just yet, but if the club's struggles continue, Bayern may well be forced to take drastic action.

The reported shortlist looks a little peculiar, however. Zidane is the biggest name available on the coaching market, but he's expected to move to Juventus as a director.

His agent has already talked up the move:

Wenger has been available since his long overdue departure from Arsenal, where he failed to replicate the magic of his heyday during the final years. Bayern are used to winning silverware, and Wenger was unable to deliver in that category too often.

Blanc hasn't coached since he left Paris Saint-Germain in 2016. While he had success domestically, he struggled to push the club to the next level in Europe—Champions League glory is likely Bayern's top priority this season.