Niko Kovac’s departure from Bayern Munich could mean “craziness will break out in the coaching world” over the summer, according to a report.
Hansi Flick has been given the reins at the Bundesliga club on an interim basis with the German coach tipped to stay in charge until the end of the season.
That would mean Bayern get until the end of the season to think about Kovac’s permanent successor with The Athletic claiming ‘a well-placed source’ has told them that “[Mauricio] Pochettino would be the preferred solution”.
The source added: “If he and Spurs end up splitting, which looks likely, Bayern will do anything to get him. On the other hand, that’s what everyone would do, even Real Madrid and probably Manchester United, who have been aiming at him for a year and a half now. It’s a very difficult option, but that would be Bayern’s priority.”
Bayern would ideally want a German-speaking manager which would be a ‘drawback’ to appointing Tottenham boss Pochettino, with PSG’s Thomas Tuchel and former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger both reportedly in the frame.
The Athletic‘s source continued: “Tuchel is a name they’ve always considered and they would have taken him in 2018 if they had been fast enough, but they weren’t and he decided for Paris.
“This is what is still between them because even if he leaves PSG, he will still have it in the back of his mind that they were thinking about him but needed a lot of time and were not convinced.
“Rangnick was a possibility but he decided it wasn’t right for him. Wenger was a last resort and only as a caretaker. Ten Haag managed Bayern II for two years and was always aiming for more. There was appreciation from both sides but, ultimately, he was never on the radar of the big bosses and that kept them away from giving him a big chance. While difficult, it is possible.”
However, the real “craziness” in the managerial world could come if Pep Guardiola leaves Manchester City in the summer with ‘a feeling in some circles’ that this will be his last season at the Etihad Stadium, with The Athletic saying it is ‘not impossible’ that he would return to the Bavarians.
“Everyone is waiting on the carousel to start moving and Guardiola leaving City would do that,” the source said.
“It feels like things are changing there. His wife has returned to Barcelona and she is more than his wife — she organises his whole world. Everything around him.
“It must have been a very hard decision and I feel that, for the first time, City are preparing for either eventuality: Pep stays or Pep leaves. Previously, it was only ‘Pep stays’.
“I was speaking to a top coach and he said he will never take over a team that Pep Guardiola has just trained. The whole structure of a club, from A to Z, is built around him and you cannot just take over his legacy because everything is built up to his working style. You need at least two or three years to renew everything so you can start working your own way.”