A less than convincing League Cup penalty shootout win over Carlisle last night has only served to heat up the speculation surrounding Brendan Rodgers’ future as Liverpool manager.
The fixture offered Rodgers a potential break from a poor Premier League form which has seen his side fail to win their last four matches to slip into the bottom half.
After coming so close to the title in 2014, Rodgers has failed to regain that momentum at Anfield and has failed to replace the talismanic Luis Suarez, while Daniel Sturridge has barely featured over the past 12 months through injury.
The Reds finished 25 points behind league champions Chelsea last season and after a poor start to this campaign too, time could be running out for the former Swansea boss.
Carlo Ancelotti is rumoured to have been sounded out by the Anfield owners as a potential replacement for the under-fire Rodgers, but the ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid manager isn’t the only big name in the frame on Merseyside.
Who will be the next manager for the red side of Stanley Park?
Fired by Real Madrid in May, Carlo Ancelotti isn’t one to shirk a challenge, and a trophy laden managerial career quells even the harshest critic of the man with the arched brow.
He led the Spanish club to a historic Decima in the Champions League and can also point to league titles with PSG and AC Milan.
The Italian is no stranger to English shores either after his two-year spell at Stamford Bridge where he led Chelsea to the 2009-10 Premier League in a rare, albeit short spell of stability at the west London club.
Every hipster’s favourite manager, the former Dortmund coach left the German side at the end of last season after a troubled campaign, but did lead the black and yellows to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final.
His touchline antics are in sheer contrast to Rodgers’ cool, relaxed demeanour but Klopp’s passion for a task once he gets started is unquestionable.
Liverpool seems an unfamiliar place without their former skipper around this season. Currently with LA Galaxy in MLS, Gerrard has made plenty of noise about a career in management once he hangs up his boots.
Few know the club better than the Englishman, and he wouldn’t have any problem getting the fans on side, but does he need managerial experience elsewhere first?
Eddie Howe is only two years older than Steven Gerrard, but the Bournemouth boss has seven years of managerial experience under his belt.
He led the Cherries from League Two to the Championship in his first spell, then after a brief sojourn to Burnley, came back south to take the coastal club into the promised land of the Premier League for the first time.
Frank de Boer
The current Ajax manager is another who isn’t likely to be fazed by the Kop. Having been thoroughly beaten to the Eredivisie last season by PSV, de Boer has turned to youth this term and Ajax have flown out of the blocks.
He has been at the Amsterdam club for five years now, and after claiming four league titles already, some may feel that the former Barcelona player is due a change of scenery.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.