Who are the 10 biggest available managers out of work?


The opening weeks of the season have indicated that managers are under more pressure than ever.

There have already been two sackings and managerial changes at three different clubs in the Premier League, and keeping hold of a job in the dugout does not appear to be much easier on the continent.

Nice boss Lucien Favre, who only took the role over the summer, has come under fire after a poor start to Ligue 1, and former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has been strongly linked as a potential replacement.

Mauricio Pochettino looks set to become the next Nice manager, replacing Lucien Favre

Pochettino left PSG in July despite leading them to the French title last term.

Despite reports suggesting that he held talks with Nice last week, as reported by the Evening Standard, Pochettino would still be open in managing in the Premier League, Serie A or LaLiga. 

Should he take the job at Nice, or land another job, this would be one less manager available for clubs to pursue in the short-term.

However, there are still a number of high-profile names who are out of work and waiting for their next opportunity to get back on the touchline.

Sportsmail has ranked the top 10 managers currently without a job, who could be available for the next big hot-seat opening.

10. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 

The Norwegian has been absent from the dugout since being relieved of his duties by Manchester United last November.

There remains some debate as to how well Solskjaer actually did at Old Trafford in his three years at the club, but he did lead them to second place in the Premier League in 2020-21, and took United to the Europa League final where they suffered a penalty shootout defeat to Villarreal.

It quickly went downhill for Solskjaer in his final few months, but experienced coach Ralf Rangnick was unable to do any better when he took over, highlighting the issues that the club faced last term.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could still land a big job after managing Man United for three years

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could still land a big job after managing Man United for three years

The United job is not Solskjaer’s only managerial role as he won two league titles with Molde in Norway, although he did get relegated with Cardiff in 2014.

It could be a risk to give Solskjaer another top job given that he did not win anything at United, but there were some bright moments during his tenure and it is not out of the question that a club could take a punt on him.

9. Quique Setien

Barcelona fans will not remember Quique Setien fondly after his tenure ended miserably with an 8-2 defeat against Bayern Munich.

However, he did win 16 of his 25 games in charge of the Catalan giants and previously impressed at Real Betis, Las Palmas and Lugo to land the Barcelona job in the first place.

Ronald Koeman came in after him and had problems as well, signalling that similarly to United with Solskjaer and Rangnick, this was a difficult period for Barcelona and was not necessarily a true reflection of Setien or Koeman’s coaching ability.

Quique Setien's time at Barcelona did not go to plan but a major club may take a gamble on him

Quique Setien’s time at Barcelona did not go to plan but a major club may take a gamble on him

Setien has been out of football for over two years, and the window to get another big role may be getting smaller.

Then again, he may feel refreshed and jump at the opportunity if a big club come calling. 

8. Frank de Boer

De Boer made his name as a player, representing European giants Barcelona and Ajax among others, while also receiving 112 caps for the Netherlands.

His managerial career got off to an eye-catching start as well, with the Dutchman winning four league titles in five seasons with Ajax.

However, the last of those came in 2014, and things have not gone to plan for him since.

He lasted just three months at Inter Milan, and did not even get that long at Crystal Palace as he lost all four of his league games without the Eagles scoring a goal before he was dismissed.

Frank de Boer has struggled since managing Ajax, and was sacked by the Netherlands last year

Frank de Boer has struggled since managing Ajax, and was sacked by the Netherlands last year

A move to the US followed where he won the US Open Cup and Campeones Cup with Atlanta United which helped him land the Netherlands job.

Netherlands qualified for Euro 2020 with minimal fuss and won all three of their group games, but were then knocked out in the round of 16 by Czech Republic. De Boer was sacked just days later.

He has been out of work since, but he has had some top jobs before, and another one could be just around the corner.

7. Andre Villas-Boas

Villas-Boas rose to fame during his only season at Porto in 2010-11, when he won four trophies including the league and the Europa League.

It seemed he was destined to follow in the footsteps of fellow countryman and former Porto boss Jose Mourinho, and he was picked up by Chelsea in 2011.

However, he only lasted eight months in the job, and his time at Tottenham did not go much better as he was sent packing after a little over a season in charge.

Andre Villas-Boas left Marseille last year and is still waiting for his next managerial role

Andre Villas-Boas left Marseille last year and is still waiting for his next managerial role

A successful spell at Zenit St Petersburg came next, where he picked up three pieces of silverware and he has since gone on to manage in China and France.

Villas-Boas’ last managerial reign ended when he left Marseille in February 2021, but he is still only 44 and could have plenty left to offer.

6. Marcelo Bielsa 

The popular Argentine has been a manager for the last 35 years, taking charge of club sides and international teams from all over the globe.

He led Argentina to Olympic gold in 2004, and has also had spells at Athletic Bilbao and Marseille.

It was at Leeds United that football fans seemed to truly appreciate his qualities in the dugout, though. 

Marcelo Bielsa was hugely popular at Leeds, and may get one more big role before retirement

Marcelo Bielsa was hugely popular at Leeds, and may get one more big role before retirement

Bielsa took Leeds back into the top-flight for the first time in 16 years in 2020, playing an entertaining brand of football, and they continued with that style of play in the Premier League.

It paid off for them in their first season as they secured a top-half finish, but didn’t go so well in the second year which caused Leeds to part ways with Bielsa in February.

Bielsa’s age may count against him. At 67, it is not clear as to whether he would be open to taking another job. But if he does, and a role comes up, his name should be in the mix to fill the vacancy.

5. Jorge Sampaoli

Like Bielsa, Sampaoli has managed all around the world, and the pair have a number of shared teams.

One of those sides is Marseille, who Sampaoli took charge of last term. In his one full season at the helm he guided them to second place in the table.

He decided to leave the club over the summer after feeling he was not being backed by the club’s board over transfers, and he is yet to return to management.

Jorge Sampaoli is an entertaining character, whose passion endears him to supporters

Jorge Sampaoli is an entertaining character, whose passion endears him to supporters

Sampaoli is a fiery character, who has become popular with supporters for his passion on the touchline.

His career to date has shown that he is rarely out of the dugout for long, and it would not be a surprise to see him land another top role soon.

4. Rafael Benitez

Benitez has almost three decades of experience in management, and his list of achievements is a lengthy one.

He won two league titles with Valencia in Spain in the early 2000s, and masterminded the ‘Miracle in Istanbul’ when Liverpool came from three goals down to beat AC Milan and win the Champions League in 2005.

He has had further success in Italy at Napoli, plus won the Europa League with Chelsea in 2013.

Rafael Benitez has had success in multiple countries but hasn't coached since leaving Everton

Rafael Benitez has had success in multiple countries but hasn’t coached since leaving Everton

His latest job at Everton went disastrously as he failed to win over the fans due to his links with Liverpool, and results quickly spiralled.

He was sacked by the Toffees in January, and has now been out of work for eight months.

Few managers have the wealth of experience that he has in European football, and this could see him get into the hot-seat at a big club in the not-too-distant future.

3. Joachim Low

Low managed 198 games during his 15 years in charge of the German national team.

It all ended with a disappointing last 16 defeat against England at last year’s Euros, but this should not overshadow the outstanding job that he did in the years before that.

His crowning moment came in 2014 when he led Germany to World Cup glory, beating Argentina in the final.

Joachim Low left his Germany role last year, and may go back into club management

Joachim Low left his Germany role last year, and may go back into club management

He also made three European Championship semi-finals and a World Cup semi-final either side of that.

Low has now been away from the touchline for over a year, and he could fancy another go at club management for the first time in almost two decades.

2. Thomas Tuchel

It was somewhat of a shock when Chelsea let Tuchel go earlier this month given what he achieved at Stamford Bridge in a relatively short period of time.

The German won the Champions League within four months of taking over last year, and then lifted the Super Cup and Club World Cup with the Blues.

Chelsea then lost the Carabao Cup and FA Cup on penalties to Liverpool and finished third in the league last term, but the club’s new owners decided to dispense with him just weeks into the new season.

Thomas Tuchel won the Champions League at Chelsea, but was sacked earlier this month

Thomas Tuchel won the Champions League at Chelsea, but was sacked earlier this month

Tuchel is still only 49, but has an eye-catching CV, having won the league twice and multiple cups with PSG, and triumphed in the German Cup at Borussia Dortmund.

He appears to guarantee silverware wherever he goes, and it would be a shock if he isn’t in a new job in the coming months.

1. Zinedine Zidane

Zidane was one of the finest players of his generation, and he has flourished in the dugout as well.

He was thrown into the hot-seat at Real Madrid in 2016, where managers are always put under the most intense scrutiny.

However, he stood up to the pressure and led the Spanish giants to three successive Champions League titles. He also won the Club World Cup twice and the league once during this period.

After some time out of the game, he returned to Madrid to win LaLiga again in 2020-21.

Zinedine Zidane won the Champions League three times as a manager at Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane won the Champions League three times as a manager at Real Madrid

Zidane has never been sacked, instead choosing to leave whenever he has wanted to. 

It appears that he may be holding out for the France national team job should it become available after the World Cup.

The 50-year-old won the World Cup as a player and could be eyeing a chance to lead Les Bleus to major glory as a manager.

If Didier Deschamps stays in charge of France, Zidane should expect plenty of interest from big clubs across Europe. 



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