It had been coming for some time, although there was some surprise at the swiftness of Brendan Rodgers’ dismissal by Liverpool following their Merseyside derby draw at Everton on Sunday. After just one win from their last nine matches in all competitions coupled with a dismal end to last season, has seen the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, dispense with the Northern Irishman after just over three years in charge.
Liverpool do not plan on being without a manager for long. In their statement announcing Rodgers’ exit, the club made it clear they “hope to make an appointment in a decisive and timely manner.” With the international break, Liverpool will not take the field again until Oct. 17, when taking on Tottenham. The aim must surely be to have a new man in place by then.
Here, according to the latest betting odds, are the five leading candidates to replace Rodgers.
Jurgen Klopp (1/7)
The German is the clear front-runner for the job right now and, according to multiple reports, has already been approached about stepping into the vacancy. It is easy to see why. While things did not end particularly happily at Borussia Dortmund, it would be wrong for that to skew what came before. Klopp reinvigorated Dortmund, leading the club to back-to-back Bundesliga titles and the Champions League final in 2013 with a furious counter-pressing philosophy. After the constantly changing identities through Rodgers’ reign, Liverpool could certainly benefit from a coach as single-minded, not to mention as effervescent, as Klopp. If they do appoint him, though, it must be because Liverpool know what they are getting with the 48-year-old and are ready to embrace it.
Carlo Ancelotti (5/1)
Klopp is not the only high-caliber manager currently on the market. After being dismissed by Real Madrid in the summer, Ancelotti will surely be at least considered by Liverpool. Along with Anfield legend Bob Paisley, he is one of only two managers to have lifted the European Cup on three occasions. Having managed Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Milan and Juventus, it would, though, be a step down to go take over this current Liverpool side. And there must be considerable doubt over whether the Italian is the right man for the job at hand. Ancelotti’s greatest quality has been in managing the egos of stars and adjusting his tactics to accommodate them in his team. Currently lacking star power Liverpool instead require a manager to galvanize the club and build it almost from the ground up.
Frank de Boer (16/1)
After leading Ajax to four Eredivisie titles, De Boer has been strongly linked to Tottenham in the past and has also made it clear he would be very keen to take up the reins at Liverpool. But the former Netherlands international’s stock has fallen in recent times after Ajax finished 17 points behind PSV Eindhoven last season and were knocked out of the Champions League in the qualifying stage by Rapid Vienna this season. The fact that he is currently employed will also count against De Boer, given Liverpool’s desire for a swift appointment.
A long shot, Mazzarri’s most recent job saw his reputation take a hit when he was dismissed after a disappointing 18-month spell in charge of Inter Milan. But Liverpool’s attention could be piqued by what the Italian did previous to that at Napoli. In charge of the southern club with a similar passionate support to Liverpool, Mazzarri built a thrilling team led by Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik, guiding them to second in Serie A, the knockout phase of the Champions League and a Coppa Italia title. Yet he has never managed outside of Italy, making him a hugely unlikely appointment.
Jurgen Klinsmann (20/1)
The former Tottenham striker was famously approached about replacing Rafa Benitez as Liverpool manager by the club’s previous owners. After a short-lived spell at Bayern Munich, his reputation internationally was boosted by guiding the United States out of the group stage at the 2014 World Cup. In the U.S., however, his standing has recently been damaged by a woeful semifinal exit to Jamaica in the Gold Cup semifinals and a failure to truly implement a proactive philosophy. And yet, despite a crunch match with Mexico looming on Saturday, there is little chance of him being available, even if Liverpool were to surprisingly be interested. The German is on a lucrative contract with the U.S. Soccer Federation until 2018 and also has the responsibility of technical director.