With defeat to Marseille in the last-16 of the Europa League, Athletic’s season has effectively come to an end. The Basque club are floating around in LaLiga’s burgeoning mid-table, with little chance of relegation and little chance of qualifying for European competition next season.
Ziganda's time up at San Mamés
Despite the fact that nine league matches remain, Athletic have already started to sound out candidates to take over as coach in June. Cuco Ziganda will not be given a second season at the helm, in spite of his tireless work and dedication since taking over from Barcelona-bound Ernesto Valverde.
Asier Garitano, who has not yet signed a new contract at Leganés, is one of the names in the hat. Yet he would only be offered a one-year contract, to allow candidates for the presidential election at Athletic (Josu Urrutia’s term will end in May 2019) to prepare their suggested coaches.
Tuchel favoured by some at Athletic
An alternative name under consideration is Thomas Tuchel. The former Dortmund coach would appeal to the desire of some within the club to replace Ziganda with a more high-profile individual. The 44-year-old has been heavily linked to Bayern Munich, but remains unemployed.
Athletic have previously appointed non-Basque coaches, such as Jupp Heynckes – who, incidentally, Tuchel is tipped to replace at Bayern – Luis Fernández, and Marcelo Bielsa.