The departure of Leonardo Jardim at an AS Monaco side who are currently in free fall has some of European football’s biggest clubs on alert as one of the continent’s proven managers has just become available – a rarity at the highest level.
Unlike with players who can only switch between clubs during transfer window, chopping and changing managers is something which is seen throughout the year at every single level of the sport.
It will be a race to see which clubs have the cojones to make their move sooner rather than later, but while the news of Jardim’s departure is still ringing in our ears, here are seven clubs across Europe that should be considering appointing the Portuguese boss if things go wrong with their current managers.
7. Manchester City
There’s nothing to worry about just yet, Manchester City fans. You’re still favourites to win the league title and Pep Guardiola isn’t going anywhere.
But just incase the Citizens’ season does a 180 and the club starts to follow down the same path as their Manchester rivals, who better to take over than the former Monaco boss?
Manchester City did sign half of Leonardo Jardim’s title-winning squad in 2017 after all.
6. Olympique Lyonnais
Similarly with Manchester City, French side Lyon don’t have to be thinking about a change of management following their start to the season.
The club aren’t firing on all cylinders under Bruno Génésio, but things are far from awful at the Groupama Stadium, something which president Jean-Michel Aulas was eager to point out when asked about potentially appointing Jardim on French radio.
5. Real Madrid
For anyone whose first glimpse of Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui was earlier this year, then you’d be forgiven for thinking that Spain’s pre-World Cup head coach could be cursed.
Following his tragic sacking with La Roja, Lopetegui has failed to hit the heights needed to maintain a job at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Although Los Blancos are only two points away from top spot in La Liga, their recent Champions League defeat to CSKA Moscow showcased just how something isn’t quite clicking at Real Madrid.
Jardim’s exciting style of play would undoubtedly see the likes of Gareth Bale, Isco and Marco Asensio shine, while his work with young players could see Vinícius Júnior and Andriy Lunin become household names in no time.
A complete turnaround in backroom staff could be the perfect time for a new manager to come in at any club, and Milan’s newly appointed CEO Ivan Gazidis, formerly of Arsenal, has the chance to do that after spending the last nine years under Arsène Wenger.
The Rossoneri are currently sat firmly in mid-table and things don’t look like their improving at San Siro this season – a perfect project for Leonardo Jardim to walk into.
Although for anyone who remembers manager Gennaro Gattuso during his playing career, not many people will be willing to step forward and tell Rino that he’s been sacked.
3. Manchester United
In all honestly, José Mourinho is actually doing a remarkable job at Manchester United.
He’s taken the third most valuable squad in the Premier League (Transfermakrt) and turned them into Sean Dyche’s Burnley, fighting for Europa League football.
As much as fans have been clamouring for Zinedine Zidane to come in when the inevitable happens, Jardim is actually going to be much better suited to the job in the immediate aftermath of Mourinho’s tenure.
Make no mistake about it, United are still one of the biggest clubs on the planet, if not the biggest, and they can attract the kind players to Old Trafford that other teams could only dream of.
But for the Red Devils to take two steps forward, they’re going to have to take one back.
Jardim will get the players on side in no time, play exciting attacking football, and he might even be able to bring the best out of Paul Pogba, but most importantly, fans will once again be excited to see United play football.
2. Tottenham Hotspur
Wait, you didn’t actually believe all that drivel about Jardim going to Manchester United, did you? It’s Manchester United for goodness sake.
Face it Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino’s off to the north west. Spurs have a Champions League quality manager working with Europa League quality resources, so why wouldn’t he swap a stadium-less club for the Theatre of Dreams?
In fact, he might even take Harry Kane with him…
Leonardo Jardim is a near perfect fit for Tottenham, especially to fill the boots of Pochettino. Both managers are chronic overachievers, but at least the former Monaco boss has some silverware to show for it.
1. Bayern Munich
Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are in big trouble, even if they aren’t willing to admit it to themselves just yet.
The Bavarians are winless in their last four games heading into the international break, with some questions starting to arise around the future of Niko Kovač.
Somehow, the former Eintracht Frankfurt boss has turned the Bundesliga’s most dominant team into a side who struggle to score goals, can’t keep clean sheets and, worst of all, play like they’re the underdogs.
That’s hardly surprising given Kovač’s career so far, but it seems like the Croatian has jumped in at the deep end of the managerial swimming pool and is now panicking to stay afloat.
Bayern Munich aren’t strangers to sacking a manger early in the season either.
Leonardo Jardim could be the perfect candidate to help freshen up this current crop of players which for too long has been relying on the likes of Robert Lewandowski, 30, Arjen Robben, 34, and Franck Ribéry, 35.