“But you’ve only just arrived!”
The New York Red Bulls’ manager has already attracted another suitor. According to Bild, German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen is interested in hiring Gerhard Struber to replace the recently fired Florian Kohfeldt. He is said to be a “hot candidate” that is “high on the list,” but a decision will not be made until the end of the month.
Last October, Red Bull reportedly paid a significant €2 million release clause to acquire Struber from English Championship outfit Barnsley. His current contract lasts through the 2023 season. Owner Dietrich Mateschitz was said to have played a role in his recruitment to New York.
Bremen has certainly seen better days, fighting against the drop for the second consecutive season. The four-time Bundesliga champions are currently in 16th place in the table, crawling along the edge of a straight razor toward an unknown future. With one round remaining, the club could be headed to the relegation playoffs, but, with a single point in either direction, the fate turns to promotion or automatic relegation.
A long-term coach in the Salzburg academy and reserve set-up, Struber is no stranger to switching jobs at awkward times. Three-and-a-half months after being hired, he left AC Wolfsberger of Austria following a few successful Europa League results, with Barnsley triggering his release clause. His English spell was slightly longer, but ended abruptly amid complaints of insufficient transfer dealings. While the 44-year-old appears settled in New York and back in the Red Bull fold, the chance to return one of Germany’s historic clubs to its former glory may be too tempting a challenge to turn down.
This is the reality of hiring an in-demand manager. Seven months to the day of his initial announcement, there is the first rumor of outside interest. Expect many more over his tenure, as his short but intriguing résumé promises high performance on a budget provided he is allowed to make a holistic overhaul. New York is currently undergoing this process, but one wonders if it will be carried out to completion.