Most summers, for most clubs, rumour mongering is limited to the players. Who will be bought, who might be sold, and who has been snatched away by a rival with more money or a more recent history of success. This summer, after a disastrous final two months that saw Liverpool capitulate the top four while making many of the same mistakes that marred the start of the season, there will also be managerial rumours to sift through.
And the first one is a big one. Maybe the biggest, as ex-Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has reportedly been approached by Liverpool, who are sounding out potential replacements before making a final call on Brendan Rodgers’ future. Or at least, that’s what Spanish outlet—and Real Madrid mouthpiece—Marca believe, and if it’s true, it’s an encouraging sign for Reds fans, even those who might be content to see Rodgers kept around.
If true, it would show that Fenway Sports Group are doing their due diligence and don’t intend to sack Rodgers simply to sack him. If they are going to change managers, it will only be if a truly world class replacement can be brought in. Ancelotti, who at 55 years of age has found success with Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, PSG, and Madrid, would certainly qualify. There are few managers, potentially available or not, with better resumes.
Many Liverpool fans may be skeptical of the club’s drawing power. After all, they’re England’s fifth biggest spenders and once again find themselves on the outside looking in this season. For all the club’s history, the past six seasons have mostly been marked by struggles and disappointment, and even before then it was a fight for former manager Rafa Benitez to keep the club competitive with their bigger spending rivals.
On a global scale, though, they remain one of the ten biggest clubs in the world by almost any measure. And for managers, who do tend to be older than players, the club’s history and the chance to revive a sleeping giant could still be a major draw. Marca at least seem to think it would be a major draw for Ancelotti, as the paper suggests Liverpool are the only club that might convince him not to take a year off from the game.
Alternately, of course, there might be no truth to the rumour. If there isn’t, though, then there really should be. Brendan Rodgers has been on the job for three years now and, rather than being in year three of his project, Liverpool appear to be back at year zero yet again and embarking on a chaotic summer with key players wanting out. Add in that the club ended the year making the same mistakes they started it with, and his job cannot be safe.
Yet making a change just to make a change—rolling the dice on another rebuild with a new man in charge—likely doesn’t appeal to FSG any more than it does to many fans, and that might be what gives Rodgers another chance. If the likes of Ancelotti or Jurgen Klopp were willing, though, it could be a change worth making, and since FSG will never know if they don’t ask, it’s encouraging at least to hear rumours of them doing that.