The German Bundesliga season ended a mere few days ago, but the coaching carousel is already spinning.
Markus Weinzierl announced that he would not be extending his contract with FC Augsburg, informing the players following a 2-1 win over Greuther Fürth. The 47-year-old manager led the Bavarian club to a 14th place finish, five points above the relegation zone. His departure follows the resignation of President Klaus Hofmann, with local media pointing to Managing Director Stefan Reuter as “the focus of criticism,” with “chaos” brewing behind the scenes. Sport1 has a full breakdown of the drama, including accusations of blackmail, with the ominous tag that “peace will probably not come any time soon.”
There are certain managers capable of handling a measure of chaos and internal strife, almost appearing to thrive with their backs against the wall. Naturally, Gerhard Struber is being mentioned as a candidate for the upcoming Bundesliga season. Sport1 describes him as someone who “delivers successful work,” which is an apt assessment based on his tenures in Wolfsberger, Barnsley, and New York.
Struber appears to be a hot name this summer, already being connected to English side Watford. Augsburg would be an interesting choice, by far the most prestigious position of his career and competing in a top division league. A plurality of Fuggerstädter is owned by investor David S. Blitzer, who made headlines in January when splashing the pot for hyped American striker Ricardo Pepi, indicating there would be no shortage of transfer funding.
While some clubs are conducting hiring processes, many European leagues have yet to conclude the current season, indicating more openings on the way. Struber may opt against accepting a position with Augsburg for one reason or another, but there is a greater meaning to this constant flow of rumors. The Austrian is officially “in” the rumor mill with a profile that continues growing, seemingly by the month. The market determines value, and being connected to the Austrian national team and a Bundesliga outfit indicate that more interest of a similar or greater level will follow. The eventual departure of a highly sought-after manager exists in the realm of “when” not “if.”
There is, of course, another position looking likely to become available this summer. Fresh off consecutive league-and-cup doubles, Red Bull Salzburg boss Matthias Jaissle is being linked to the vacant manager role at VfL Wolfsburg. After two years, he is expected to move on, as leading Salzburg is akin to appointment as a Roman consul, in this case with a de facto cursory term limit.
This all means very little to the New York Red Bulls, in the midst of a dense schedule featuring four matches in 11 days. Right now, rumors and stories are agent games or, at most, preliminary interviews conducted over a video call. After May 28th, there is a two-week international break, a brief respite providing the opportunity for some rest-and-relaxation, tactical refreshes, or perhaps an in-person interview.