By Michael Cantillon
With Brendan Rodgers now sacked, Football Insider assesses the most likely candidates to become the next Liverpool manager.
Managerial Honours: Bundesliga x2, German Super Cup x3, DFB-Pokal
The overwhelming favourite, Liverpool underwent talks with Klopp before Rodgers got the chop, and have also held discussions with his representatives during the last couple of days. Klopp was a great success at Borussia Dortmund where he had limited funds and was up against a powerhouse of European football every season: Bayern Munich. He also consistently lost his best players in the form of Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski to Bayern, with star man Shinji Kagawa sold to Manchester United before that. Yet he proved that he could rebuild a team successfully; a quality Liverpool are in dire need of after the departures of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard in particular. He would appear to be a good fit with Liverpool: passionate, tactically aware and available. However, he has never managed outside of Germany so the question naturally arises, how would he fare in the Premier League? Expect this one to happen very soon.
Managerial Honours: Champions League x3, Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1, FA Cup, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana, Copa Del Rey.
Has also been sounded out by Liverpool in the last couple of days, Ancelotti is another who is currently unattached after being dismissed by Real Madrid in the summer. One of the most successful managers in history, Ancelotti has won three Champions Leagues, the league title in three different countries: Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Premier League; also winning domestic trophies across Europe: Coppa Italia, FA Cup and Copa Del Rey. Was a monumental success at Chelsea where he won the double during his first season in charge, before unbelievably being sacked by Roman Abramovich the following May. Liverpool would duly love to hire a man of his pedigree and experience, but would the club interest him in return? Doubtful.
Roberto Di Matteo
Managerial Honours: Champions League, FA Cup, Football League Championship Runner-up: Promotion to Premier League.
A candidate with not much experience, and who has not been in work since resigning as Schalke boss in May 2015. Di Matteo knows the Premier League well though having featured in it as a player for Chelsea for six seasons and managed both West Brom and Chelsea during his fledgling managerial career to date. Achieved extraordinary cup success as Chelsea caretaker manager winning both the Champions League (somehow) and FA Cup during 2011-2012. However, the club finished sixth in the league that year and when Di Matteo was appointed as a permanent manager in the summer of 2012, he only lasted until November. The Italian oversaw a disastrous period as Schalke manager as well and so would constitute a huge risk for Liverpool. Appears very unlikely; a job at a smaller club would seem his next appropriate port of call.
Frank De Boer
Managerial Honours: Eredivisie x4, Dutch Super Cup, World Cup Runner-up.
The Dutchman who had a glittering playing career with Ajax, Barcelona and the Netherlands is currently manager of Ajax where he was won four Eredivisie titles. He was also the assistant manager with the Netherlands during their run to the World Cup final in 2010 and so has been involved at the very top of the profession. Last week, De Boer actually linked himself with the management position at Liverpool and so would appear keen were the Reds to come calling. A talented manager, who will end up in the Premier League at some point, but will just miss out this time around it seems.
Managerial Honours: Primeira Liga, Taca de Portugal, UEFA Europa League, Russian Premier League, Russian Super Cup.
At just 37 Villas-Boas is one of the youngest managers in top European football. Shot to prominence with Porto where he won the League and Cup double, as well as the Europa League during his very first season in charge (though he did have Radamel Falcao and Hulk running riot all year). From here he was appointed Chelsea manager and tipped to be the next Mourinho. His spell at Stamford Bridge was an unmitigated disaster however, as a series of disputes with senior players, poor tactical decisions and a general loss of control meant that he only lasted until March before being sacked. Was then surprisingly given the reigns at Tottenham, replacing Harry Redknapp, but here he also failed miserably. Extremely reliant on Gareth Bale, Spurs missed out on Champions League qualification on the final day, and then saw the superb Welshman sold to Real Madrid. Villas-Boas, in tandem with (or maybe not) Franco Baldini made a series of signings that summer, almost all of which proved costly failures. He was gone by December. Has since rebuilt his reputation somewhat at Zenit St. Petersburg having won the Russian title last season. Would appear a definite no-go, yet the Liverpool board did consider him in 2012 before appointing Brendan Rodgers…
By Michael Cantillon