Hiddink and Klopp add European flair to Leicester manager market


Leicester City have stated that they want a high profile manager to replace the outgoing Nigel Pearson, and while Guus Hiddink is the obvious choice, could Jurgen Klopp be the dark horse?

Having stepped down from his role as Holland boss after just over year, Hiddink is currently in the market for a new job, and sees himself atop the market for the role at the King Power Stadium at 7/4.

The Thai owners could well see the 68-year-old as a very attractive proposition, as they will undoubtedly want to market the East Midlands club to the Asian market.

And having taken South Korea all the way to the World Cup semi finals in 2002, Hiddink will certainly be a figure of high-standing in football in the Far East.

But while the former Chelsea gaffer tops the market, there has been little interest from punters, and instead support seems to be gathering for former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp to take the reins (10/1 from 14/1).

While some may see it as little than a pipe dream, Klopp has suggested a switch to England could be his next stop, and he isn’t limiting his options to the powerhouses at the top end of the table.

“The important thing is new ideas, not money”, he told the Daily Star.

“I think England is the only country where I work next to Germany because it’s the only country where I know the language.

“If someone will call me then we will talk about it”.

Closer to home, two former Leicester City managers remain near the head of proceedings, though one is proving more popular to bettors than the other.

Neil Lennon is currently 11/4 second favourite for the role, though his price has drifted slightly out from 7/4 overnight, and was Evens at the weekend.

His lack of support in the betting could also highlight how much of a risk the club’s Thai owners see the Bolton boss.

Having sacked Pearson for reasons off the pitch, it is unsure as to whether they would consider someone with a track record of some fiery encounters on the touch line to follow him.

Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill has been the steamer in the market though, shortening from 20/1 on Sunday into 6/1 on Tuesday morning.

He appears to be set in his role in Dublin, but having taken the Foxes into the Premier League, and securing four straight top 10 finishes, as well as landing the League Cup twice, it’s expected the fans will be happy with a return.

For now though it is Hiddink who leads the charge, with a resurgent Klopp creeping his way up the betting in a move that will have Leicester fans rubbing their hands with glee.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.