The head coach of the team who finished second in the Bundesliga is hardly an obscure selection, but 32-year-old Domenico Tedesco looks a cast-iron certainty to be considered for the next ‘Big Six’ job available.
Born in Italy, Tedesco’s parents emigrated to Germany when he was two years old. He never played football professionally but like Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann found a break in coaching at a young age. Appointed by second-tier Erzgebirge Aue in March 2017, Tedesco won 13 points from five games to guide them to safety.
Schalke took a chance on him last summer and under his guidance the Gelsenkirchen club have qualified for the Champions League after a three-year absence. Regarded as a tactically flexible coach, one highlight of a superb debut season was a comeback from 4-0 down to 4-4 in the derby against Borussia Dortmund.
Gian Piero Gasperini (Atalanta)
Lasted only five games at Inter in 2011, but Gian Piero Gasperini has a warranted reputation for getting a lot from a little. He guided Genoa to Europe in 2009 but it is his work at Atalanta over the past few seasons that has really caught the eye.
Benefiting from one of Italy’s most productive academies, Giasperini’s Atlanta recovered from losing four of their first five league games to finish fourth in 2016-17, achieving European qualification for the first time in 26-years. The 58-year-old coach ripped up the tactical rule-book, using a Dutch-style 3-4-3 that left opponents dumbfounded. Despite losing Franck Kessie to Milan last summer and other key players, Atalanta continued to punch above their weight with a seventh-placed finish.
Giasperini is not the youthful up-and-comer some clubs crave, but any club looking to maximise meagre resources could do far worse. Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte is coy over plans to sign Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku.Lukaku is said to have been in talks with Inter for several weeks – with Conte’s approval.And after his appointment was confirmed, Conte was asked abou
Giovanni van Bronckhorst (Feyenoord)
The former Arsenal player received a ringing endorsement from Arsene Wenger last year and a glance at his record makes it easy to see why. Guided Feyenoord to the Dutch Cup in his first season before winning the Eredivisie in his second, coaxing the best out of a squad with a mix of talented youngsters and wise old heads such as Dirk Kuyt. Last season proved more challenging, but Feyenoord did rally late, winning their last eight league matches to finish fourth and claimed another cup.
Ralph Hasenhüttl (free agent)
Hasenhüttl stepped down as RB Leipzig head coach at the end of last season after two seasons in charge. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have made both made new appointments this summer, so Hasenhüttl must consider his nPSG striker Kylian Mbappe has welcomed new signing Idrissa Gueye.The former Everton midfielder arrived in Paris this week after a pursuit that had been ongoing since January.And Mbappe admits he’s a fan of the Senegal international.”I know Gueye is coming, he’s a very good signing for us. It’s the club that decides,” Mbappe said. “We have a good group, that’s for sure.”ext move. The Austrian guided the controversial Bundesliga newcomers to second-place and Champions League qualification with a brand of high-octane, progressive football.
He may have fallen out with RB Leipzig’s hierarchy over a new contract, but Hasenhüttl looks ideally suited to any club with a technical director-head coach set-up. Whether he can find a club that can unearth talent like Naby Keita or Emil Forsberg is another matter.
Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
Not an unfamiliar name, but one who seems to be drifting down clubs’ lists. In the summer of 2016 there were reports that he was well thought of by Arsenal’s hierarchy, and he was also linked with Everton – the club he supported as a boy. He was frequently spoken of as a potential England manager too.
Several managerial vacancies have opened up in the last few months, and Howe does not seem to have been considered for any of them. He has done nothing to diminish his reputation in the intervening period, quite the opposite in fact, so his diminished status is curious. Bournemouth’s last two league finishes are ninth and 12th – a commendable achievement. His record in the transfer market is patchy however, and there is also a risk that becomes institutionalised at Bournemouth. Familiarity breeds contempt.
The quality of manager in international football is desperately low, but Brazil’s Tite is one who looks capable of stepping into a top club job. Has galvanised a group of players rocked by a 7-1 World Cup semi-final humiliation on home soil at the hands of Germany. Following the oppressive Dunga, Tite has put an arm round a few of his charges and the result is possibly the best d manager Javi Gracia insists Manchester City are not the best team in the world.The Hornets meet City in the FA Cup final on Saturday.”I think they’re the best team in the Premier League but not in the world because their results speak about that,” Brazil team since 2002.
Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho will lead the charge in Russia, with Roberto Firmino and Willian in reserve, supported by a likely midfield three of Casemiro, Paulinho and Rene Augusto. Dani Alves’ injury is a blow, leaving the right-back berth free in a back four otherwise compromised of Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Marcelo. In goal, they can choose between Alisson and Ederson. Not bad.
Neil Harris (Millwall)
Lee Johnson, Dean Smith and Paul Cook are all promising Championship managers, but Neil Harris has done a remarkable job at the Den against all the odds. Building upon the ‘siege mentality’ that is part of Millwall’s essential character, and thanks in no small part to Lee Gregory and Steve Morison’s strike partnership, Harris has taken the London club from League One to the brink of the play-offs. It would take a hell of an offer to tempt Harris away from Millwall however, where he enjoys legendary status.
Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate)
Another disciple of Marcelo Bielsa, Gallardo could be the next successful Argentinian coaching export. Appointed River Plate manager in 2014, he has tucked away the Copa Sudamericana, Copa Libertadores and the Recopa already. Gallardo has a reputation as an innovator too, becoming the first coach in Argentina’s first division to appoint a female assistant as well as working with a neuroscientist to hone players’ mental approach. Could be on Atletico Madrid’s shortlist should Diego Simeone ever depart.
Slavisa Jokanovic (Fulham)
There have already been whispers of Chelsea’s interest, but if Fulham win their play-off final against Aston Villa and thrive in the Premier League then Jokanovic will be a wanted man. Fulham were without a doubt the best footballing side in the Championship last season, but Jokanovic also possesses an inner-steel that ensures discipline is not lost in all the pretty passing patterns. For clubs lost in the Premier League mid-table morass, Jokanovic would instill a style of play and an identity for fans to believe in.
Rui Vitoria (Benfica)
Has lifted two Portuguese championships and two cups in three seasons at Benfica, and at 48 Vitoria must surely be considering a fresh challenge. Losing out on the championship to Porto this season also has Vitoria under pressure Benfica are a dominant force, but a win percentage of 70% after 152 matches in charge remains impressive.
Jose Mourinho’s former assistant Rui Faria has been linked to the job, so that could free Vitoria to seek pastures new.