A frenzied summer of manager movements expected in the Championship

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 08 May 2017, 11:37

The standard 46-game Championship season has now come to a close so we thought this would be an ideal opportunity to look at all the potential managerial moves in the division, in what promises to be a busy summer in the dugout.

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As expected the final day was drenched in drama at both ends of the table, as ante-post favourites Newcastle were crowned champions in the final seconds, while the 1995 Premier League victors, Blackburn Rovers, were booted out of the second-tier, despite an impressive end to the season.

Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez is now set for talks with owner Mike Ashley after adding yet another honour to his CV (see below). The Spaniard is adored at St James’ Park and Ashley must do everything he can to ensure that the 57-year-old stays, as the Magpies prepare for life back in the top-flight.

Huddersfield boss David Wagner is bidding to join Benitez in the Premier League next season, but he’ll have to go through the lottery of the play-offs. The 45-year-old has enjoyed a superb season in charge of the Terriers, with his work catching the eye of a number of top-flight clubs, and it's no surprise that he currently features in the West Ham, Watford, Southampton and Middlesbrough manager markets, to name a few.

Wagner has also been linked with Norwich City who had a strong finish to the season under interim boss Alan Irvine. The Scot, who is unsure on his future, can be backed at 7/4 to bag the Canaries job on a permanent basis, alongside Uwe Rosler whose loyalty to Fleetwood will be tested this summer. Other names in the Norfolk frame include Alan Pardew, Paul Heckingbottom, and a certain Garry Monk.

Monk's one-year contract at Leeds runs out this summer, but after a very promising season which saw the Whites finish 7th, fans are unsurprisingly extremely keen for the former Swansea boss to stay. However, this is Leeds we are talking about and no one knows what is around the corner, although Monk himself appears to be eager to sign a new deal.

Another team searching for a new manager is relegated Wigan who went through three bosses during the 2016/17 season: Gary Caldwell, Warren Joyce, and Graham Barrow. The betting is predicably close at this stage, but it’s the in-demand Luton boss Nathan Jones who has sprung to the top of the market at 2/1. The out-of-work former Rotherham gaffer Alan Stubbs also features, as do Michael Appleton, Darrell Clarke, and Rosler.

Joining Wigan in League One next term are Blackburn Rovers. Tony Mowbray took over in February on an 18-month deal, and impressively went on to win five and draw seven of his 15 games at the helm, however it agonisingly wasn’t enough to keep the club in the second-tier as they were heartbreakingly relegated on goal difference. Mowbray has reportedly not spoken to owners Venky’s once since he took charge, and in truth no one knows what their next move will be, not even them…

One side that avoided the dreaded drop on the final day was Birmingham City. The Midlands club had a bizarre season during which they shockingly axed Gary Rowett when challenging for the play-offs, replacing him with Gianfranco Zola, who went on to scrape only two wins from 22 matches, before eventually throwing in the towel. In came Harry Redknapp who lead the Blues to safety after matching Zola’s tally of two wins in just three games. The former Tottenham boss is now set for talks with owners, but looks likely to stay, providing the club meets his demands, and there's likely to be a few.

Other managers who could well be linked with moves away include Reading’s Jaap Stam, Sheffield Wednesday’s Carlo Carvalhal, and Fulham gaffer Slavisa Jokanovic who all join Hudderfield’s David Wagner in the play-offs. Meanwhile, Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom has has already attracted attention this season, and may well again during the summer.

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