The candidates to replace Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich – ranked

The 2022/23 season was perhaps an indicator of what was around the corner at Bayern Munich.

The Bundesliga’s supreme force have flirted with relinquishing their relentless superiority at the summit of German football during their 11-year stint as the league’s top dogs, and it finally looks like Bayern will surrender their perpetual crown this term.

Thomas Tuchel oversaw a dramatic title triumph on the final day of last season, and the addition of Harry Kane was meant to enlarge the gap between Bayern and the rest. 2023/24, however, has been a campaign of underperformance in Bavaria, and a nightmare week in February has left Tuchel on the chopping block.

A rising and now established threat in Bayer Leverkusen looks poised to topple the Bundesliga’s tyrants, with this group of players set to be remembered as those that allowed Bayern’s chokehold on German football to slip. Tuchel’s legacy, meanwhile, will be similarly unflattering.

While Bayern are set to keep the German manager on their books for now, there’s seemingly little chance that the club will employ Tuchel beyond the summer.

Rumours regarding his successor are beginning to circulate, and here’s how 90min ranks the potential candidates.

Ole Gunnar SolskjaerOle Gunnar Solskjaer

Solskjaer is reportedly being considered on an interim basis / Charlie Crowhurst/GettyImages

Former Manchester United boss Solskjaer has been linked with the job on an interim basis. The Norwegian served as United’s caretaker following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho in late 2018, eventually earning a permanent position.

Solskjaer was constantly written off at Old Trafford, but his tenure looks all the more impressive in retrospect. His United side were reactive and tactically underwhelming, but he was able to balance a squad laden with egos and guide the club to some of their most successful seasons in a post-Fergie world.

As a caretaker, Solskjaer certainly wouldn’t be a bad option, but it’s hard to envisage him steering the ship at Bayern – given his lack of ties to the club – on a long-term basis.

Likelihood rating: 3/10

Antonio ConteAntonio Conte

Conte could be open to the job / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Harry Kane will certainly welcome the arrival of Conte given how well he performed with the Italian at the helm in N17. However, the rest of the Bayern squad might not be best pleased.

Still, Conte’s a coach that vintage Bayern sides would’ve undoubtedly appreciated given his tactical acumen and meticulous attention to detail.

The manager’s ego is built for a club of Die Roten’s magnitude, and Bayern could enjoy short-term success under the Italian in year one. It’ll be intriguing to see how Conte’s pragmatic and very Italian ideals translate over to the space haven of the Bundesliga.

This partnership could work wonders on the pitch, but Conte’s relationship with a very involved Bayern hierarchy would surely blow up at the first sign of adversity.

Likelihood rating: 4/10

Hansi FlickHansi Flick

Flick led Bayern to the treble in 2020 / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

Bayern aren’t against reunions having appointed Jupp Heynckes on 78 occasions, and former Germany head coach Flick is regarded as a possibility for the Bavarians.

Flick stepped in midway through the 2019/20 season following Niko Kovac’s departure and guided the club to an astounding treble. His Bayern team was sensational; one transformed by simple but effective principles that were symbolic of the great club.

This Bayern side aren’t anywhere near as collectively coherent nor talented as Flick’s all-conquering iteration, but the former manager has the know-how to squeeze everything out of this flagging squad.

However, Barcelona’s reported interest in the German coach could deny Bayern a reunion.

Likelihood rating: 5/10

Sebastian HoenessSebastian Hoeness

Hoeness has done an excellent job at Stuttgart / Sebastian Widmann/GettyImages

Some might cry nepotism should Hoeness get the job, but his work at Stuttgart means he’s being considered by Bayern on merit.

The nephew of former Bayern player and honorary president Uli, Hoeness has worked wonders in the southwest having coached Bayern’s U19s and reserve side.

His two years at Hoffenheim were steady if not spellbinding but did include an emphatic 4-1 thrashing of Bayern in September 2020. At Stuttgart, Hoeness has morphed a side from the brink of relegation last season into potential Champions League participants next term.

Tactically versatile with his Bayern connections entrenched, Hoeness is an underrated candidate for the German giants.

Likelihood rating: 6/10

Zinedine ZidaneZinedine Zidane

Zidane has been out of work since leaving Real Madrid in 2021 / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Zinedine Zidane to Bayern is starting to gain plenty of traction. The Frenchman has been out of work since departing Real Madrid for a second time in 2021.

Zidane’s perceived laissez-faire approach wouldn’t have cut the mustard in Bavaria a few years back given how Carlo Ancelotti’s reign panned out, but the all-time great may be the man the current Bayern needs

Thomas Muller recently hinted at the desire to drift away from stringent positional play principles that were once adored in Munich while Pep Guardiola was in town. Well, Zidane will certainly facilitate that.

While subtly impressive, Zidane is not an innovator nor a tactical wizard akin to Nagelsmann and Tuchel. His brilliance lies in the aspects of management that often go under the radar when assessed by outsiders.

He had an incredible squad in Madrid during their three successive Champions League triumphs, but it wasn’t mere talent that got Los Blancos over the line. Zidane’s serenity and capacity to tame egos allowed his Madrid side to reach unprecedented heights.

Likelihood rating: 7/10

Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso

This would be such a Bayern move / Jan Hetfleisch/GettyImages

This would be the most Bayern Munich of Bayern Munich moves.

The German behemoths have typically snagged the best footballing talent the Bundesliga has to offer to aid their perpetual success. Prising the league’s brightest managerial prospect – the one who looks set to end their 11-year reign at the top – would be poaching of the highest degree.

Alonso’s Leverkusen are stellar. The recent 3-0 battering of Bayern captured their magnificence and the Spaniard’s tactical acumen. He completely outwitted Tuchel, who admitted inferiority by matching Leverkusen’s 3-4-3 having deployed a 4-2-3-1 for the entirety of the campaign.

The former Bayern midfielder is seriously being considered by the Bavarians, and it looks as if a duel with Liverpool for Alonso’s services will commence in the coming months.

It’d be great for the Bundesliga if Alonso was to avoid the pull from Bavaria, but you can never bet against Bayern in situations such as these. They usually end up with what they want.

Likelihood rating: 8/10

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