Former Borussia Dortmund and Germany stalwart Christoph Metzelder has backed Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp to succeed Carlo Ancelotti as the new Bayern Munich manager, while club president Uli Hoeness claims to have already informed Pep Guardiola of the identity of the experienced Italian's replacement.
Ancelotti sealed a fifth successive Bundesliga title win in his first season in charge at the Allianz Arena, but was relieved of his duties last week less than 24 hours after a 3-0 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
Such a dismissal came after just nine matches of the 2017-18 campaign with Bayern trailing Dortmund at the summit of the German top-flight after blowing a two-goal lead at home to Wolfsburg.
They did likewise during interim head coach Willy Sagnol's first game at the helm against Hertha Berlin, making it the first time in club history that the Bavarians have squandered such an advantage in successive league matches.
Attention quickly turned to potential successors for Ancelotti, with Klopp linked with the post along with another former BVB coach in Thomas Tuchel, Hoffenheim's Julian Nagelsmann, ex-Barcelona chief Luis Enrique and Louis van Gaal. Sagnol, who has served as an assistant coach since July, is not believed to covet the role on a full-time basis.
Endorsing Klopp's credentials during an appearance on Sky Germany, Metzelder said: "From my point of view, Jurgen Klopp would be ready. He is a top man-manager and could make the complex power relationship work wonderfully. Nagelsmann is an outstanding trainer, but Bayern Munich is of course a different size [club to Hoffenheim]."
Ancelotti followed in the footsteps of Guardiola, who won three consecutive titles and two DFB-Pokals during a three-year stint at Bayern before leaving for Manchester City. The Catalan, who apparently promised to still attend Oktoberfest every year, was recently spotted back in Munich having lunch with Hoeness and seems to endorse his next choice of manager.
"It was purely a friendly get-together, but of course we exchanged ideas," Hoeness told Munich daily newspaper Abendzeitung. "I told him who we are going to appoint in the coming days. He was in agreement."
Former Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid boss Ancelotti was expected to quickly jump back into management, with suggestions that he could return to the San Siro with Vincenzo Montella under pressure following back-to-back Serie A defeats. It was also mooted that he would open to a second spell in the Premier League, with West Ham United having previously targeted the 58-year-old before appointing Slaven Bilic in 2015.
However, Ancelotti, who has also been mentioned in connection with a lucrative move to China, says he will not manage again this season and intends to take a 10-month break from football.