TugaScout is an English-language site reporting on matters associated with Portuguese football by freelance writer Alex Goncalves, offering the latest news, reviews and opinions surrounding the Portuguese League and the Seleção players based abroad.

Who is in the running to be Sporting's next manager?

Who is in the running to be Sporting's next manager?

Miguel Cardoso

Seemingly one of the frontrunners for the job, Cardoso is without a club after his time at Nantes came to a very premature end.

Having only joined the French outfit in the summer as successor of Claudio Ranieri, Cardoso was sacked at the start of October, just four months after he joined the side from Rio Ave, who he led to fifth place in the Portuguese Primeira Liga last season.

Before that, he also worked as assistant manager to Paulo Fonseca at Shakhtar Donetsk, as well as assistant at Braga on two separate occasions, and even Sporting in the 2011-12 season. 

Paulo Sousa

Another manager that is out of work right now, Sousa would also prove a more financially beneficial appointment than some of the other candidates.

Most recently working in China as manager of Tianjin Quanjian, Sousa has experience across several countries having also coached in England, Hungary, Israel, Switzerland and Italy. This would, however, be his first managerial role for a club side in his native country, having only coached the Portugal U16 national side.

The 48-year old doesn't spend much time at each of the clubs he manages, but he generally does well, having won the league with Maccabi Tel Aviv, Basel and Videoton despite only managing all three sides for a combined 4 seasons. With Sporting craving the Primeira Liga title that has evaded them for a decade and a half, that is a more than appealing statistic.

He also generally leaves clubs at his own accord, deciding for himself when he wants to leave rather than being sacked.

Rui Faria

Jose Mourinho's right-hand man for close to two decades, Faria decided to step down from his assistant manager position at Manchester United to pursue his own career as head coach.

And a job at one of Portugal's traditional 'Big Three' clubs would undoubtedly be a very tempting offer for the former Porto, Real Madrid and Chelsea assistant. 

This move likely hinges on whether Sporting would be interested in plumping for a man that has no personal experience in the managerial hotseat.

Carlos Carvalhal

Another manager who is readily available to take over after his spell in charge of Swansea came to an end, Carvalhal has already worked at Sporting, where he had a less than spectacular time, overseeing Sporting finish fourth in the league in 2010, no fewer than 28 points behind Benfica in first.

Having coached 17 clubs in just 20 years, Carvalhal comes with a wealth of experience, but based on track record he certainly wouldn't be a long-term appointment.

And it would likely not be the inspiring appointment supporters are hoping for, but he would undoubtedly be an upgrade on Peseiro, and could be the leader Sporting are looking for right now. 

Leonardo Jardim

A dream appointment, Jardim is the man all Sporting fans want, but very few expect.

Having seen his glorious spell in charge of Monaco come to an abrupt end, with the French outfit sitting in and around the relegation zone, Jardim's reputation remains intact, and his ability to nurture young talent has been praised on numerous occasions.

However, with some reports even suggesting he could be on the radar of Real Madrid, and some Manchester United fans also expressing a desire to see him take over from Mourinho, Jardim is likely targeting a bigger role than Sporting, and will be expecting more lucrative offers to come along in the near future.

Jorge Jesus

Now, this is an odd one. But, this is Jorge Jesus we're talking about.

Having only left Sporting 4 months ago to join Saudi Arabian outfit Al Hilal, it seems ridiculous to suggest he could be making a rapid return to the dugout. However, such is the rate at which things have changed at Sporting, with Bruno de Carvalho removed, a new president appointed and some key players re-signing with the club, Jorge Jesus may well be a perfect fit to reignite the side.

Aitor Karanka

The current Nottingham Forest manager may seem, on the surface, a surprise candidate for the top job at Sporting, but those who know a bit about Karanka will know that he has an excellent relationship with Jorge Mendes who, as we all know, is one of the more powerful figures in world football, particularly when it comes to player - and managerial - transfer movements.

Karanka is one of a number of names Sporting have on their shortlist as potential successors to Jose Peseiro, and with Sporting on much better terms with Jorge Mendes now than they were this time last year, it's certainly a very plausible suggestion.

However, with Sporting believed to be primarily targeting a Portuguese coach, and with no indication that Karanka even wants to leave Nottingham Forest, it remains, for now, one of the more unlikely appointments.

Claudio Ranieri

The man who helped deliver one of the most surreal title victories in football - and sports - history, Ranieri would be an intriguing appointment - and would likely be one that Sporting fans would unanimously greet with enthusiasm. 

A great character, an entertainer, a motivator and a leader, Ranieri could help bring together what is still a fairly divided fanbase, and would be given support by the vast majority of fans due to his reputation and general personality. 

His spell after Leicester City at Nantes was unspectacular but far from disastrous, and he's likely ready to get straight back into management if a suitable offer comes in. Sporting would most definitely fit the bill.

Whether Sporting are willing to go for a man that has had a mixed record for success is another matter, and the fact that he isn't Portuguese could also work against him in the selection process. 

Some other names.... 

Alternatively, it could be none of these. The list of potential managers is wide open currently, and Sporting may choose to appoint someone currently managing in the league, such as Belenenses manager Silas. Alternatively a move for current Portugal national team technical director Jose Couceiro is also potentially on the cards. A move for current South Korea manager Paulo Bento, who previously managed the Portugal national team, and Sporting, is another option. Reports in Italy have also linked Cesar Prandelli with the job.

Next Sporting manager chosen - and has to rescind his contract with his current club first

Next Sporting manager chosen - and has to rescind his contract with his current club first

Pedro Caixinha leads Cruz Azul to glory

Pedro Caixinha leads Cruz Azul to glory