Chris Wilder recently became the third Premier League manager to leave this season, which followed Slaven Bilic’s West Brom exit in December and Frank Lampard’s Chelsea sacking towards the start of the year.
At this point in each of the last two seasons a tally of six managers had been discarded, while a whopping nine had gone at the same stage of the trigger-happy 2017/18 campaign.
It would be a huge surprise if this season’s number to date (three) changed from now until May - you can find the latest odds here - but could we be set for a summer of managerial movement?
Below we’ve taken a look at the five current Premier League managers who are out-of-contract in a few months time...
David Moyes (West Ham)
Even if West Ham don’t succeed in their spirited push for a top-four finish, David Moyes has a very decent shout at being crowned the 2020/21 Premier League Manager of the Year.
Reaction was lukewarm when it was revealed that Moyes had returned to East London at the end of 2019 on an 18-month contract. He steered the club to safety but the knives came out early doors this season after the Hammers lost their opening two games to Newcastle and Arsenal.
Yet the dogged Scot refused to buckle and has since restored pride, galvanised the fanbase, and propelled his troops to within two points of the top-four with nine games to go.
West Ham did of course opt not to hand Moyes a new deal in the summer of 2018, but you’d like to think they won’t make the same mistake again.
In the meantime fans will be hoping that those Moyes to Celtic rumours go away...
David Moyes: Surely a contender for Manager of the Year
Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace)
Roy Hodgson is a managerial peripatetic whose remarkable career has seen him drink in a multitude of different cultures in various countries across the continent. He’s managed clubs in Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, and Denmark, while he’s also been at the helm of four different national teams including the UAE.
However, the oldest Premier League manager ever at 73, has spent the last 14 years in his homeland at Fulham, Liverpool, West Brom, the national side, and currently Crystal Palace, whom he’s been in charge of since September 2017.
Whether the top-flight’s fourth longest-serving manager will still be in charge next season is something that continues to bamboozle us all. His contract expires in the summer and both boss and club have kept mysteriously elusive over whether an extension will be penned.
It’s been widely speculated that Palace could opt for a new direction, with Frank Lampard and Eddie Howe both quietly linked, while you can add Chris Wilder into the conversation now too.
There's speculation that Roy Hodgson could leave Crystal Palace this summer
Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds)
Like with David Moyes at West Ham, we’re 90% sure that the out of contract Marcelo Bielsa will pen a new deal with Leeds, whom he’s managed since 2018.
Bielsa has twice signed one-year deals at Elland Road, and is expected to repeat the feat this summer, although the likes of Max Allegri, Ruben Amorim and Steven Gerrard have been very loosely linked should Bielsa not continue.
The Whites have been electric since the Argentine propelled the club back into the Premier League, and with nine games left they are bidding to secure a first top-half top-flight finish in 19 years.
Will Marcelo Bielsa soon pen one of his trademark one-year deals?
Sam Allardyce (West Brom)
While not strictly out of contract this summer having signed an 18-month deal in December, Sam Allardyce has a release clause should West Brom be relegated.
In truth, it’s not looking great at the moment for the 19th-placed Baggies who find themselves 10 points adrift of safety with nine games to go. But if they do conjure up a miracle then Big Sam will reportedly be set for a seven-figure bonus.
In the increasingly likely scenario in which West Brom are relegated a mutual parting of ways could occur. Allardyce hasn’t managed in the Championship for 10 years although he has two Premier League promotions on his CV from his time at Bolton and West Brom.
Should he leave, then expect those Chris Wilder rumours to heat up somewhat.
Big Sam has a relegation release clause in his contract
Paul Heckingbottom (Sheffield United)
Not an outright Premier League manager, but Sheffield United’s interim boss Paul Heckingbottom has been tasked with overseeing the first team following the exit of Chris Wilder.
The former Barnsley boss suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat to Leicester City in his first league game, followed by an FA Cup exit at the hands of Chelsea last weekend.
While you can never say never of course, survival seems remote given that the Blades are 14 points adrift of safety with just nine games left.
The club is expected to bring in an external manager in the summer, although you can’t necessarily rule Heckingbottom out completely. "All options are open,” Prince Abdullah said on Thursday. “We will make a decision soon, but we want to see how the team performs in the last eight or nine games of the season.
"I cannot comment on candidates. First of all we have a coach who we have to respect and see how he does with the team."