Bayern Munich‘s ailing season went from bad to disastrous at the weekend when they suffered the embarrassment of a 3-0 loss at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach – with manager Niko Kovac reportedly clinging to his job.
The 46-year-old coach only took over in Bavaria in the summer after guiding underdogs Eintracht Frankfurt to an unlikely German Cup win last season – against Bayern in the final.
However, Satuday’s defeat leaves Bayern sixth in the Bundesliga table, and four points behind the impressive-looking Borussia Dortmund and the Bundesliga odds have significantly shifted in recent weeks as a result.
The Bayern hierarchy sacked Carlo Ancelotti around the same time last year for a similarly slow start – so who could potentially be drafted in to replace Kovac if they decide to go down the same route?
The former Arsenal manager is without a job for the first time in almost 30 years and is yet to accept any offers on the continent to go back to work.
He might’ve suffered a few flat years towards his time at the Emirates but Wenger was once regarded as one of the world’s premier football managers – and has been offered the Bayern Munich job in the past.
The Frenchman knows how to play beautiful football – a prerequisite of the Bayern support – and he wouldn’t need any time to bed in or learn the ropes either.
This one might come a bit out of left-field but Rafa Benitez has once again excelled himself at Newcastle United, albeit with one hand tied behind his back for much of his two-and-a-half year reign.
The Spaniard has experience of dealing with big egos and has managed some of the biggest clubs in the game and, barring Real Madrid, has been pretty successful along the way.
The Champions League, La Liga and two Europa League titles all sit proudly on Benitez’s CV, among other achievements, and we reckon an offer to take over another elite club and escape the clutches of Mike Ashley would be pretty tough to turn down.
This time last year, Joachim Löw was the toast of German football and reigning World Champion, but the summer’s World Cup has knocked him off his pedestal somewhat.
Löw managed to cling onto his job after the horrendous tournament in Russia saw the Germans suffering the ignominy of being eliminated in the group stage after failing to beat South Korea and Mexico.
He still has a contract until after the 2022 tournament in Qatar but the disappointment and shambolic fallout that has accompanied Germany’s failure perhaps hints that it could be time for a bit of spring cleaning at the DFB.
Maybe a clean and swift transfer to the Allianz Arena would suit all parties?
This is perhaps the most obvious name on the list but, in many ways, the most unknown quantity.
Yes, Zidane has won the last three consecutive Champions League trophies, a feat never achieved in the post-European Cup era, but how much of that was down to his tactics and management, or the gaggle of superstars at his disposal?
He could be the greatest manager of all-time, you never know, but we reckon Bayern would be the perfect job for the Frenchman at this point in his career.
Really, he should win the Bundesliga pretty easily with the current Bayern squad, and he clearly has the know-how to negotiate the latter stages of the Champions League.
He wouldn’t be as severely tested at Bayern as he would in, say, the Premier League – but could he cut the mustard?
What do you think of our list? Did we miss anyone out?