Europe's managerial merry-go-round: Conte, Zidane & maybe Poch on move

Europe’s managerial merry-go-round: Conte and Zidane are available after walking out on Inter Milan and Real Madrid, Pochettino could leave PSG for a sensational Spurs return while Allegri looks poised for Juventus… so who will end up where?

  • Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane are available for free after leaving their clubs
  • PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino, meanwhile, is interested in a return to Tottenham 
  • At Juventus, Andrea Pirlo is set to be sacked with Masimilliano Allegri going back

There’s still one game to go in Europe’s club season with the Champions League final on Saturday and yet it already appears that a host of Europe’s top managers will be on the move.

Antonio Conte and Zinedine Zidane have left their roles at Inter Milan and Real Madrid respectively while Mauricio Pochettino could be in line for a sensational return to Tottenham after they sacked Jose Mourinho.

Meanwhile it appears to be all-change at Juventus with Andrea Pirlo on the brink of the axe after finishing fourth in his first campaign in the dugout. Massimiliano Allegri looks likely to replace him in what is already shaping up to be a big summer of managerial upheaval. Sportsmail assesses the lie of the land…

Zinedine Zidane has left his role as Real Madrid manager after a trophyless season in Spain

ANTONIO CONTE

Only three weeks after snapping Juventus’ nine-year streak of winning Serie A, Conte has dramatically left Inter Milan. 

He was frustrated with the lack of financial resources at his disposal and reports in Italy said the club needed to raise around £85m in player sales to balance the books. 

So he’s gone, just at a time when plenty of other major vacancies are opening up. 

Could he be tempted by a return to the Premier League, with Tottenham? Conte enjoyed great success with Chelsea, winning the title in 2017 and the FA Cup a year later. It would seem, however, that Conte might not fit the profile of manager Spurs want and Daniel Levy is frugal when it comes to spending – one of the reasons that prompted Conte to leave the San Siro.

Antonio Conte has left Inter Milan in a matter of weeks after clinching the Serie A title

Real Madrid could interest him – he has never managed in Spain before – but again, he will have to acknowledge that their finances have also been hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Once option that appears to have been closed is the Juventus role. Reports on Thursday suggest Massimiliano Allegri will return to Juve with Andrea Pirlo being axed after a fourth-place finish. 

A return to Turin for Conte could have been appealing – he enjoyed success there as a player and won the first three of Juve’s nine straight Serie A titles. 

ZINEDINE ZIDANE

The Frenchman left Real Madrid on Wednesday, bringing an end to his second tenure at the Spanish giants after overseeing Madrid’s first trophyless season in 11 years.

His 2020-21 campaign will not dent Zidane’s pedigree in the game  though – after all, he won an unprecedented three Champions Leagues in a row in his first spell at the Bernabeu and also won LaLiga last year.

Like Conte, Zidane could have been tempted by the Juventus vacancy. He of course has a connection to Juventus from his playing days where he won two Serie A titles and two Champions Leagues.

But Zidane will have no shortage of admirers across Europe. With growing talk that Pochettino could be tempted to find a way out of PSG, a return to his home country could be one that appeals to him. PSG are fixated upon landing the Champions League and Zidane has a proven track record of doing just that.

Despite Real’s struggles this season, Zidane’s pedigree means he will be wanted by many sides

MAURICIO POCHETTINO

After being sacked by Tottenham in 2019, Mauricio Pochettino resurfaced in France with Paris Saint-Germain midway through the season following the sacking of Thomas Tuchel.

But it hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly for Pochettino in France. They were knocked out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage by Manchester City and failed to win the Ligue 1 title. Lille clinched the crown, edging Pochettino’s side by a point.

On Thursday, The Athletic reported that Pochettino had entered into talks with Tottenham over a sensational return to the north London side after they sacked Jose Mourinho earlier this year. It is claimed that the Argentine has spoken with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy over the possibility of a return and is keen on the idea of moving back to the UK capital.

A large part of Pochettino’s thinking is thought to be down to the lack of control he has at PSG – something his predecessor Tuchel also struggled with.

Mauricio Pochettino could  depart PSG despite only taking over as manager in January

MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI

After two years out of the game and links to a vast array of major clubs across Europe, from Mancehster United and Chelsea to Real Madrid, Allegri appears set to return to Juventus.

In his first spell, Allegri was there for five years and won Serie A in every season. When he departed in 2019, he left with an incredible win percentage of 70 per cent. 

The Italian was widely expected to take a major job abroad but that day never came. He was repeatedly linked with United and even admitted to taking English lessons, albeit for what he claimed was his ‘personal culture’ rather than because of an eye on a specific job.

And after two years of refining his ideas on the game, Allegri now looks set to return to the club where he made his name. He  will have work to do after Juve’s fourth-place finish last season, and concerns that Cristiano Ronaldo is going to leave in the summer. 

After two years out the game, Masimilliano Allegri looks set for a return to Juventus




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