Jurgen Klopp has earned a wonderful reputation across European football for the superb work he has done at Borussia Dortmund, who have been transformed from a middle-of-the-road team to Bundesliga winners and Champions League finalists. His colourful and charming personality on and off the pitch, in addition to his preference for his team to play enterprising football at all times, has won many plaudits from those who believe the 47-year-old is destined for bigger and better things. Klopp has remained loyal to the Dortmund cause ever since major European clubs began to show interest in his services, but the team’s struggles in 2014/2015 and the potential for more of his prized assets to be sold in the summer may make him seek a new challenge elsewhere. The club’s recent announcement that Klopp is to leave the club on July 1st has put a number of clubs on red alert, with Klopp unlikely to be short of potential suitors who will offer an opportunity for him to prove himself in another country.
As the pressure on Manuel Pellegrini continues to increase, the news that Klopp will be available in the summer has made him favourite to move to Manchester City. The defending Premier League champions have been nowhere near their best this season, and while they exited the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona in consecutive seasons, their poor recent form has seen them drop from second to fourth and now face a fight to hold onto their top four spot. Klopp will undoubtedly be on top of Manchester City fans’ wanted list for the top job if Pellegrini is inevitably sacked at the end of the season, but his claim that he is not motivated by money may not fit in with the considerable wealth at the Etihad Stadium. Furthermore, it is believed that the boardroom, particularly executives Ferran Soriano Txiki Begiristain who was both previously at Barcelona, have placed Pep Guardiola as their number one target, so it remains to be seen if Klopp is prepared to play second fiddle and move to a club where he was not their first choice.
Another manager who finds himself under pressure is Carlo Ancelotti, who has come under heavy criticism for the club’s recent wobble in La Liga and the Champions League. Although Real Madrid remain in contention to win back-to-back titles, the manner in which they have led their lead slip and allowed Barcelona to take control has not gone down well with the board and fans, with their fans showing their displeasure following the 2-1 defeat in El Clasico. Their poor performance in the second half of their first-leg draw at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Quarter Finals is further proof that Ancelotti is struggling to get the very best from his players, with rumours of a managerial change at the Bernabau increasing even further. Klopp would undoubtedly be on the shortlist to take over the reins at Real Madrid if Ancelotti is disposed of, with his preference for a high pressing game and attacking football likely to suit the club’s demand for an entertaining style of play.
Although Barcelona are in a strong position to potentially win the treble (La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League), there is no guarantee that Luis Enrique will remain at the Bernabau next season. The 44-year-old has slowly, but surely, got to grips with managing a club he represented as a player for eight glorious years, but while Los Cules have enjoyed a superb run of form by winning 31 of their last 35 fixtures in all competitions, the upcoming presidential election may prove to be pivotal. Former president Juan Laporta is strongly backed to reclaim control at Barcelona, and it is believed that he will target a top quality manager to lead a period of dominancy for the club. Although Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are rumoured to be his main targets, Klopp would most certainly be a shoe-in at Barcelona where he would inject more pace into their attack – something which Luis Enrique has been criticised for by preferring a slower build-up – and potentially make them more solid in defence.