AFTER a shock 3-0 defeat away to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, Bayern Munich sacked manager Carlo Ancelotti and replaced him with Willy Sagnol on an interim basis.
The Italian tactician guided the Bavarian giants to a fifth consecutive Bundesliga title in his first campaign with the club last season, but the humiliating PSG defeat proved the final straw as the club sit third in the German top flight, amid rumours of unrest within the squad.
The Bayern job remains one of the most coveted in football, with some of the world’s top managers having taken charge of the five-time European champions in the past.
And the position will once again be hotly contested, as several of the brightest coaches in the game are being linked with the Allianz Arena hot seat.
Our friends at Football Whispers have identified seven managers who’ll be in contention to replace Ancelotti as the next permanent boss of the Bundesliga kings.
The impressive Hoffenheim manager is still only 30 and became the youngest coach in Bundesliga history when he took charge at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena at 28.
Nagelsmann dragged Hoffenheim from the brink of relegation to the fourth-best team in Germany in less than 18 months.
His tactical nous and ability to clearly communicate his instructions has made him the most talked about young coach in Europe, and his side were the first to beat Bayern this term, defeating Ancelotti’s men 2-0 in September.
The bookmakers’ favourite to be the next permanent Bayern boss, Nagelsmann has made no secret of his ambition to reach the pinnacle of the game and, as a Bavarian who is currently building a house in Munich, he’d surely jump at the chance to take over at the Allianz Arena.
Regarded as one of the brightest coaches in German football, Tuchel’s spell in charge of Borussia Dortmund was not cut short at the end of last season for any lack of ability, rather as a result of a falling out at board level.
A disciple of Jurgen Klopp, Tuchel has exchanged coaching ideas with former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola and became de facto mentor to Nagelsmann during their time together at Augsburg. Tuchel is a student of the game and an incredibly intelligent tactician.
Still unattached since his Dortmund departure, Tuchel would jump at the chance to take over at Bayern.
The Liverpool manager is the last non-Bayern boss to win the Bundesliga, having picked up back-to-back titles with Dortmund in 2010/11 and 2011/12.
His exciting, “heavy metal” brand of football has become the envy of the continental game, and his methods are producing a thrilling attacking side at Anfield.
Klopp’s trademark “gegenpressing” system has inspired a generation of coaches to follow suit by focussing on the transitional phase of the game, and he is seen as the biggest and most influential name in German coaching right now.
Convincing Klopp to succeed Ancelotti would be a huge coup for Bayern. But the Liverpool boss appears fully committed to his project on Merseyside and the Reds wouldn’t let him go without a fight.
Now 57, Low has been in charge of the German national team for 11 years and is preparing to defend the World Cup in Russia next summer.
The studious coach masterminded his nation’s fourth World Cup in 2014, and claimed the Confederations Cup this year despite selecting an under-strength squad.
The 2018 World Cup presents the perfect opportunity for Low to walk away from Die Mannschaft on high, and if he has the itch to get back into club management – he was in charge of Stuttgart, Fenerbahce and Austria Wien among others before becoming Jurgen Klinsmann’s assistant at international level in 2004 – Bayern could be the perfect club for him.
One man who has the proven track record to take the reins at a club of Bayern’s size and is available to start immediately is former Barcelona boss Enrique.
The ex-Spain international built managerial experience at Roma and Celta Vigo before assuming the hot seat at the Camp Nou in 2014.
His first season in charge of the Catalan giants couldn’t have gone any better, securing a league, cup and Champions League treble.
Enrique won two more domestic cups and another La Liga title with Barca before stepping down at the end of last season.
An outside bet for the Bayern post, 32-year-old Tedesco is impressing with Schalke in his maiden season as a Bundesliga manager.
The Italy-born tactician coached at youth level with Hoffenheim and Stuttgart before impressing as first-team manager of Erzgebirge Aue after taking over in March last season – his first senior managerial role – reversing the club’s fortunes and steering them clear of relegation from the German second division.
Schalke took a gamble by appointing the young coach to succeed Markus Weinzierl this summer but Tedesco has already impressed with the way he has organised and energised the Gelsenkirchen side.
In his interim role, former Bayern and France full-back Sagnol is effectively auditioning for the top job at the Allianz Arena on a long-term basis.
Sagnol became Ancelotti’s No.2 in June and has now been tasked with steadying the ship after the Italian’s departure.
Still only 40, Sagnol has managerial experience thanks to a stint in charge of the France Under-21s and two seasons with Bordeaux in Ligue 1.