Where Will Big-Name Managers out of Work Land?

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportNovember 29, 2018

Where Will Big-Name Managers out of Work Land?

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    Football managers live in a ruthless world. There is no other job quite like it. 

    No matter your past success or experience, a few bad results will lead to chants, blogs and Twitter polls calling for you to be sacked. 

    And even if you leave on your own accord, choosing the next gig might not be straight forward, as David Moyes would likely attest to.

    There are some huge names out of work, all waiting for the right spot to open up. Here, we take a look at five and predict their landing spots.

Wenger Eyes Job in Munich

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    He changed the face of English football after becoming Arsenal manager, and Arsene Wenger's next job will see him shape football elsewhere on the continent.

    He is currently taking time out, watching games and acting as a TV pundit—but he is starting to get twitchy. People who know him believe he is very nearly ready for the next challenge.

    The job that he has his eyes on is Bayern Munich, according to Matt Law of the Telegraph. It has been a tricky season for coach Niko Kovac, who Wenger actually gave public backing to earlier in the campaign.

    B/R sources say he has been paying particularly close attention to Bayern matches, though, and has been compiling reports for himself on their style and the individuals within the setup.

    Kovac was given some breathing space this week, as a 5-1 win over Benfica booked a place in the last 16 of the Champions League and guarantees his job is safe...for now.

    He is being scrutinised game-by-game, however, and Wenger would make an interesting replacement if he does not survive.

    Wenger speaks fantastic German and has all the experience needed to guide them domestically and in Europe. Ideally, he would like to wait until January before taking a job, but if this one is offered, he will surely accept.

Zidane's Next Decision: Club or Country?

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    He decided to leave Real Madrid before his reputation could be tarnished. Now he has to make sure he is remembered as a managerial great, as well as a playing legend.

    The next move for Zinedine Zidane is tricky. He is staying out of the management game until at least next season and seems pretty clear in one aspect: He does not want to manage in England. 

    Zidane is wary of the style of football, the relentless pressure and the competitiveness of the top four. Manchester United were reported to have an interest in taking him on as Jose Mourinho's replacement when the Special One was going through a tough spell, but he told close aides it was not the job for him.

    In club football, Italy could be a destination. There is a feeling he could replace Massimiliano Allegri at Juventus if he bides his time.

    But Zidane's other school of thought is to get away from club football, leave the Madrid memories as his legacy and turn to the international scene. 

    There has been talk of him already making an agreement to lead the Qatar national team, but people closer to the situation are not so sure that is likely.

    "A photo has been doing the rounds, with many claiming it to be Zidane signing for Qatar NT, but of course it's from a few years ago when he was chosen as an ambassador for Qatar 2022," explains Wael Jabir, managing editor of Middle Eastern football site Ahdaaf.

    "As for him being chosen as a coach, I don't see it happening. Right now the setup they have in place is comprehensive, with Felix Sanchez having led more or less the same group of players since under-19, who now make up the core of a very young national team. 

    "I don't see them upsetting this structure for the sake of bringing a big name. If anyone is to serve as a high-profile face of the national team, it will be Xavi, who has already been heavily involved in Qatari football beyond just playing there."

    However, there is a high chance France would take him on in 2020, when Didier Deschamps is due to end his reign. That's the one that really makes sense.

Jardim Watching Southampton Situation

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    Leonardo Jardim has been out of a job since he was axed by Monaco in October. He had previously built a good reputation with the club, as his exciting style of football led to the Ligue 1 title and a Champions League semi-final.

    He is already being approached by various clubs around Europe but is waiting for a project he feels he can really embrace.

    Southampton is the contract that might be on the table very soon. According to Oddschecker, current manager Mark Hughes is favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post, and if that happens, officials on the English south coast have already earmarked Jardim as a target.

    Former Queens Park Rangers manager Paulo Sousa is also on the list, along with Brendan Rodgers, but Jardim's success with Monaco fits perfectly with Saints' past philosophy.

    It is believed he is keen to pursue the move if a formal approach is made.

    The only thing that may deter him is the club's decision-making process. Part of Hughes' downfall has been poor recruitment, something he does not have control of. And according to sources, that is one of the only elements that might yet discourage Jardim from taking the job.

Third Time Lucky for Lopetegui?

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    Ditched by Spain, axed by Real Madrid, you could forgive Julen Lopetegui if he wanted to hide away right now.

    He's not actively searching for a job, but Spanish sources are convinced he does not want a long break. There is a strong feeling he wants to get back into club management this season.

    Finding the right club will be tricky, as no one can be totally sure of his level and mindset on the back of a bizarre few months with Real and Spain. Yet it is almost certain his next job will be in La Liga.

    Fulham tried to sound him out before handing their managerial job to Claudio Ranieri, but he did not want to entertain the idea.

    If we were to look at a club that might fit the bill this season, Valencia could be a good fit. Marcelino may be in trouble if results do not turn around soon.

Conte Waits for the Big Clubs to Make a Change

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    Antonio Conte thought he was going to become Real Madrid coach. After some discussion and meetings, it seemed the club were going to appoint him as Julen Lopetegui's successor.

    But there was a late change of heart, and it has killed his enthusiasm to return for the time being.

    Conte loved the idea of trying to turn around Real's season. He had a vision for changing their style of play, switching to a back three and bringing back the feel-good factor.

    There is no other club that could get him dreaming in that same way, so he is now waiting until the summer to start fresh for a new season with a new side.

    It's probably a smart choice, as some big opportunities could open up in that period. There is even a feeling in Madrid that Real may turn to him if the Santiago Solari experiment does not work out.