Eduardo Berizzo is the clear favourite to replace Cuco Ziganda as the coach of Athletic Club.
Ziganda announces departure
Ziganda has announced that he will not continue in charge of the Basque club after an underwhelming first season in charge. Athletic have already made contact with Berizzo and the directors are aiming to conclude a one-year deal within the next week or so. The reason for a short contract is that presidential elections at the club are scheduled for April 2019.
Current president Josu Urrutia and sporting director José María Amorrortu considered other managerial options, including Thomas Tuchel, Asier Garitano, and José Luis Mendilibar. Yet Berizzo emerged as the preferred candidate to turn Athletic’s fortunes.
Berizzo courted by several clubs
Berizzo managed Celta Vigo to the semi-finals of the Europa League in the 2016-17 season, before moving on to Sevilla. His short spell in Andalucía ended just before Christmas when Sevilla sacked him despite the fact that he had been ill with cancer.
Since then, there has been no shortage of interest in his services. Colo Colo, Flamengo, and the Ecuadorian FA have all tried to tempt Berizzo back to South America, while Villarreal, Espanyol, and Nice have tested the water in Europe. Yet Bilbao was always his preferred destination.