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Manager Transfer Gossip – Liverpool’s New Option as Kieran McKenna Linked with Man United Switch

Manager Transfer Gossip – Liverpool’s New Option as Kieran McKenna Linked with Man United Switch

A major domino effect could decide the future of many top-level managers in European Football this summer. This was triggered earlier this season when  Jurgen Klopp made a seismic decision to leave Liverpool in the summer. Soon after, Xavi Hernandez also confirmed that he would be stepping down from his duties as Barcelona manager after this campaign is over.

Bayern Munich have also confirmed that Thomas Tuchel will be parting ways after a disappointing season where they’ve more or less lost on the Bundesliga title race. On top of this, some existing Premier League managers are under intense pressure of losing their jobs.

Erik ten Hag is walking on thin ice with Manchester United seemingly looking set to miss out on UEFA Champions League qualification for next season. Questions also revolve around Mauricio Pochettino’s future, with Chelsea lingering in the bottom half of the Premier League table.

There has been a very interesting update on the future of the Manchester United managerial role. That’s because Football Insider claims that the Red Devils’ hierarchy have a ‘concrete interest’ in appointing Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna to replace Ten Hag next season. McKenna has earned praise for transforming Ipswich from being bottom-of-the-table dwellers to topping the Championship table and Premier League-bound.

Interestingly, McKenna actually has a history of working at Old Trafford. That is because he was part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching staff from 2018-2021. Before that, he had worked as the Manchester United under-18s head coach, helping them win the Premier League North Division title. The 37-year-old is among the youngest coaches in English football but possesses impressive tactical acumen and has guided his side to score 84 goals in 40 Championship matches, the most for any side.

As Ten Hag sweats on his future at Old Trafford, there is still some confusion over exactly who will be the next Liverpool manager. This comes after the Reds’ favoured target, Xabi Alonso confirmed that he will not leave Bayer Leverkusen after this season. Liverpool’s new chief of club operations, Michael Edwards, is spearheading the operation to appoint a worthy successor to Klopp.

The Reds have been rumoured to have an interest in Sporting CP manager Ruben Amorim, who promotes a similar attacking/press-heavy playing style as Klopp. However, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has thrown another name into the ring. He feels that Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde checks all the boxes to be a worthy Klopp successor.

Valverde, an ex-Barcelona manager who led them to multiple La Liga titles, is currently at the helm of a Bilbao side that are favourites to win the Copa Del Rey title this season and are fighting for a top-4 finish in La Liga.

Balague believes that Liverpool should look into adding Valverde to their manager shortlist. He’s labelled him as a ‘10/10 manager’ and that his incisive attacking playing style, heavily using wingers and full-backs as well, is something that suits Liverpool as well.

However, for now, the BBC claims that Ruben Amorim is the favoured option to become the next Liverpool manager. Hailed as the ‘Anti-Mourinho’ for his progressive style, Amorim also has suitors elsewhere. Indeed, according to the Independent, Barcelona are also eyeing the possible appointment of Amorim to replace Xavi. The Blaugrana are also keeping an eye on Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann as a potential manager candidate.

Meanwhile, Xavi is adamant that he will not stay at Barcelona beyond this season. The incredible media pressure that comes from it has ticked him off and forced him to resign from his childhood club. Now, Spanish outlet Sport’s journalist Toni Juanmarti claims that Ajax are dreaming of appointing the Spaniard to lead their new project from next season.

Xavi definitely has a lot of respect for Ajax, which shares a great relationship with Barcelona due to their coexisting link through Johan Cruyff. Indeed, the Dutch icon played for and managed both clubs to incredible success – while his Total Football philosophy had a deep impact on Xavi – both as a player and a manager.

With that being said, Xavi is still not assured of taking up this Ajax role and is unlikely to jump back into management immediately after leaving Barcelona. He’s likely to take some time off before deciding which club is an ideal one to manage.

Not only Xavi, but Thomas Tuchel is also on his way out of Bayern Munich in the summer. As per BILD, the German club are ready to pay him a whopping £8.5 million compensation package for parting ways earlier than expected. While Tuchel’s future is still not clear, the Bavarians have reportedly identified their top choices to replace him.

That’s because Sky Sports Germany claims that Roberto de Zerbi and Julian Nagelsmann are the current top contenders for the Bayern Munich managerial role. The Bavarians will have to trigger De Zerbi’s exit clause (around £8.5 million-£12.8 million) if able to strike an agreement with him to take over the club in the summer. Nagelsmann, interestingly, was sacked by Bayern back in 2023 – but his impressive work with the German national team has the Bundesliga giants admiring him again.

Normally, the summer transfer windows are exciting because of the possibility of notable players joining different clubs. But now, it appears that most of the ‘blockbuster moves’ might be taken up by managers. With so many top European clubs’ managerial roles seemingly up for grabs, a lot of drama and twists can be expected before the 2024/25 season kicks in.