Managers on the move? Eight men who could be in new jobs soon

<span>Clockwise from top left: Thomas Tuchel, Roberto De Zerbi, Kieran McKenna, David Moyes and Vincent Kompany.</span><span>Composite: Getty, Alamy</span>
Clockwise from top left: Thomas Tuchel, Roberto De Zerbi, Kieran McKenna, David Moyes and Vincent Kompany.Composite: Getty, Alamy

Kieran McKenna

A second successive automatic promotion with Ipswich, who were 12th in League One when McKenna took charge there in December 2021, has won him the League Managers’ Association manager of the year award and transformed the 38-year-old into a hot property. Though England’s biggest and wealthiest clubs have no recent history of appointing young homegrown managers with no top-flight experience, either as a player or a manager, McKenna has been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United, for whom he worked as an assistant under José Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Ralf Rangnick before moving to Portman Road. Brighton, also in search of a new manager, seem more traditional suitors.

Rob Edwards

Edwards has also secured back‑to‑back promotions, taking Forest Green Rovers to League One in 2022 and Luton to the Premier League the following year (with a prematurely curtailed 11-game spell at trigger-happy Watford squeezed in between) and followed that by extending the Hatters’ fight against what seemed an overwhelmingly likely relegation to the final weekend of this season. With the 41-year-old’s CV now demonstrating a sustained record of overachievement, interest from ambitious, upwardly mobile clubs in the second tier, or smaller sides in the top flight, seems certain – he has been linked with Ipswich should they find themselves managerless before the new season.

Vincent Kompany

Another recently relegated coach who could swiftly find himself back in the top flight, either in England or elsewhere. Kompany’s Burnley were exceptional in winning the Championship in 2022-23, their promotion secured with a record seven games to spare, and were widely expected to adapt well to the Premier League, but they recruited strangely and played poorly, dropping into the bottom three in October and staying there. Clearly memories are strong of the way Kompany’s side routed the Championship, and the way he himself played for Belgium and Manchester City, among others, because despite this season’s travails he has apparently been in talks with Bayern Munich.

Roberto De Zerbi

De Zerbi was among the early favourites to replace Jürgen Klopp after the German announced his decision to leave Liverpool, and when Brighton lost narrowly at Anfield in March Klopp spoke warmly of how “I respect so much what he’s doing”, describing it as “turning the football world upside down”. Since then it is De Zerbi’s employment prospects that have turned upside down, and he ends the season out of work after mutually agreeing to leave the Amex Stadium. He plays fun, attacking football but perhaps the “contagious, utter belief” praised by Brighton goalkeeping coach Jack Stern in March can be a little much. “I hope to work in the Premier League again,” De Zerbi has said, but Milan are rumoured to be his next step.

Francesco Farioli

Brighton are now being linked heavily with De Zerbi’s former goalkeeping coach at Sassuolo, who has just taken Nice to fifth place in Ligue 1 in his first season in France – a Champions League place looked within their grasp before a run of one win in 10 league games between February and April. Farioli’s impact at Nice made him, at just 35, one of Europe’s most highly rated young managers, and though some were frustrated by their structural rigidity and defensive focus – Lorient, who were relegated in 17th place, outscored them – neither were issues in his previous job at Alanyaspor, and neither Brighton nor Ajax appear to have been put off.

Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea decided to dispense with the services of Pochettino at the end of the season despite its positive conclusion: they lost only one of their last 14 league games, a sequence completed with five successive wins, to end the campaign in sixth place. That late‑season surge should be enough to keep the Argentinian’s name in the frame for any major managerial vacancies, and he has already been linked with Bayern Munich and Manchester United, who will wait until after the FA Cup final this weekend to decide Erik ten Hag’s future. There is also believed to be interest from Saudi Arabia in the 52-year-old.

Thomas Tuchel

Under Tuchel, Bayern Munich failed to win the Bundesliga for the first time since 2012, finishing third, a distant 18 points behind Bayer Leverkusen, with the Bavarian club deciding as early as February that the 50‑year‑old’s future lay elsewhere. Going trophyless at Bayern will tarnish a coach’s reputation and, before that, Tuchel’s time at Chelsea ended in disharmony, his relationships with the players, the club’s new owners and even referees fraying in his final months. By then, though, he had shown an ability to turn around a troubled team, going 13 games unbeaten immediately after his appointment and winning the Champions League five months later. Little wonder Manchester United are thought to be keeping an eye on Tuchel, and could well move for him should they decide to dispense with Ten Hag.

David Moyes

With Roy Hodgson and Claudio Ranieri having retired, there is a gap in the market for an avuncular, experienced crisis-management specialist and Moyes could be the one. At 61 he has many years of coaching left in him and has already issued something akin to a come‑and-get-me plea to potential employers. “I want to keep really involved in football. I really love football, he said having parted ways with West Ham. “Do I want to stay in management? Yes, would be the answer to that.” It is not immediately obvious who Moyes’s next employer will be, but he is unlikely to have to spend too long waiting impatiently by the phone.