With the season barely over, and no big player signings completed yet, the managerial merry go round has swung into full force in the English Premier League.
First to go was Avram Grant, who it seems was the only person outside Israel who thought he’d still be manager of Chelsea next season. While Chelsea have still to appoint his replacement, there have been no shortages of names thrown out for the Chelsea job, with Frank Rijkaard and Roberto Mancini being heavily linked, both of whom have been let go by Barcelona and Inter respectively.
Yesterday Sven Goran Erikkson was released by Manchester City, who were then given permission to talk to Blackburns Mark Hughes. It now seems that Hughes is also wanted by Chelsea, but has given them 48 hours to approach him before he becomes the new manager at City. Hughes has a very good reputation after four years at Blackburn, with very little to spend, and at Wales before that. In his last two seasons at Rovers Hughes has brought in Benni McCarthy for under 3 million pounds from Porto, who then went on to score over 20 goals in his first season, and then last season for around the same price he brought in Santa Cruz from Bayern, who like McCarthy scored over 20 goals in his first season. With Santa Cruz attracting attention from Manchester United, for around 15 million pounds, and David Bentley being fought over by Spurs and Liverpool, Hughes probably feels that he can take Blackburn no further, particularly if their best players are to be sold. City and Chelsea would both offer Hughes funds he has never had before and the chance to be cut free from a budget may be hard to resist. Interestingly Hughes is thought to be in line to take over from SIr Alex when he leaves Manchester United, if he were to go to City would that rule him out?
While Hughes is first choice for City and in a two man short list at Chelsea, it seems that City may look to Avram Grant if they do not get Hughes. Failing that they may head for Zico at Fenerbache. Sam Allardyce is said to be the favourite to take over at Blackburn, while Sven, out of a job for less than a day, is thought to be unveiled as the new manager of Mexico.
The game of musical chairs that is the managers job in the English Premier League should ensure that headlines are made while we await the big buys that the top teams are sure to make in the very near future.