With Kaizer Chiefs expected to part ways with coach Ernst Middendorp at the end of the season, one prominent name has joined the queue to take over.
It’s been widely reported by now that the German’s days at Naturena are definitely numbered, and already two names have emerged as possible replacements, with talks behind the scenes kept very discreet.
The Siya crew reported last week that the German mentor has also made the shortlist to be head coach somewhere else!
Middendorp, according to insiders, is being sounded out by Ajax Cape Town as the Urban Warriors began their own search for somebody to permanently take over the reins after coach Andries Ulderink’s messy departure in January.
Benni McCarthy, who turned down an offer from Ajax to replace the Dutchman seven months ago, is understood to now be flirting with Chiefs, who are still yet to openly discuss Middendorp’s future to avoid disrupting the flow for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.
The other top coach linked with a move to Naturena is Gavin Hunt, a serial winner of four championships and will soon be out of a job with Bidvest Wits now officially sold to businessman Masala Mulaudzi and relocating to Venda.
Middendorp still has a year to run on his Chiefs contract, so a parting of ways is likely to come with some compensation, though it’s expected that he will jump straight back into the dugout when his Amakhosi exit is confirmed.
In the April 8 edition of Soccer Laduma, the Siya crew reported that there was interest in Middendorp from Europe, where he has worked before with the likes of Armenia Bielefeld, FC Augsburg and VFL Bochum in his native country.
That, along with suggestions that he is being wooed by Ajax ahead of their anticipated promotion from the GladAfrica Championship to the Premier Division later this year, is enough to give the impression that Middendorp will be in the hot season almost immediately after leaving Chiefs.
McCarthy is currently in Scotland putting up feelers for opportunities abroad, but home is where the heart is – and a call from Amakhosi would be enticing.
Don’t expect to get any official word from either Ajax or Chiefs about their coaching plans for the 2020/21 campaign just yet as the focus remains concluding the balance of the current term. Both clubs are on the verge of winning their respective titles in the lower and top tier of SA football and any talk about the future, in public at least, would come as a distraction – they will prefer to keep all of it discreet.
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