With Huddersfield teetering on the brink of relegation in the Premier League, David Wagner has left the club by mutual consent.
The Terriers are currently eight points adrift safety at the foot of the table and are without a league win in nine outings, collecting just 11 points from 22 matches.
Despite this, the German tactician was much beloved in West Yorkshire and any suggestion of a possible sacking seemed unlikely, with chairman Dean Hoyle even declaring he “had no intention of sacking David this season.”
That will come as no consolation to Huddersfield fans who are staring down the barrel after news of Wagner’s departure, and with Man City coming up this weekend, the immediate forecast looks bleak.
The usual suspects have begun circulating the rumour mill, with survival specialist Sam Allardyce receiving his obligatory high odds for the vacancy, though he has since ruled himself out of the running.
And so, with Allardyce out of the question, who could Huddersfield possibly turn to as they aim to fend off the threat of relegation, and what next for David Wagner himself?
Jokanovic was a revelation during his time at Craven Cottage, taking the west London club from the lower reaches of the Championship to Premier League status in just a one-and-a-half seasons.
However, that fairytale would not last much longer as the Fulham hierarchy ultimately relieved the Serb of his managerial duties earlier this season after he struggled for form and consistency in the top-flight, with Claudio Ranieri taking the reins in November.
Since then he has been linked with a host of vacancies in England, including the Stoke City job, following the dismissal of Gary Rowett – which has since been given to Nathan Jones – and Nottingham Forest, following the departure of Aitor Karanka.
With Jokanovic currently a free agent, chairman Dean Hoyle may very well be considering the 50-year-old, who received widespread adulation for his attacking style of play and development of young talent – notably Ryan Sessegnon.
Buehler first met Wagner while turning out for German club TSG Weinheim over 15 years ago, though the former would ultimately see his playing career end prematurely as a result of a recurring shoulder problem.
However, that did not deter Buehler from football and since then, he has worked as a youth coach alongside Wagner for Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund II respectively, before following his compatriot to Huddersfield in 2015 as his assistant coach.
Wagner learned his tactical nous during a 16-year playing career, and he further refined his philosophy under the auspices of Jurgen Klopp during his time in the Ruhr district, and so, Buehler will have picked up his knowledge from the very best in the business and could prove an interesting appointment.
It would prove an audacious move were Huddersfield to prise Farke away from high-flying Norwich City, but the alluring prospect of Premier League football could help in their conquest to secure an adequate successor to Wagner.
Farke has proven to be a tactically astute coach during his time at Carrow Road, with the Canaries currently third in the Championship, though the club are winless in five and are by no means guaranteed automatic promotion.
Were an offer to come in, Farke may be tempted to try his luck in the top flight, having only previously enjoyed spells with SV Lippstadt 08, before being plucked by Borussia Dortmund II from the obscurity of Germany’s lower reaches.
Norwich has certainly been the biggest gig of his managerial career so far, and the earlier signs of his tactical acumen are promising, but there can be no denying that he would be tempted to manage in the top-flight were the Terriers to come knocking.
With the prodigiously talented Julian Nagelsmann leaving the Rhein-Neckar-Arena for RB Leipzig at the end of the season, there is no question that the Hoffenheim hierarchy would have been alerted by news of Wagner’s departure.
Granted Die Kraichgauer are a level above Huddersfield with the club having competed in the Champions League this season, but they have already been knocked out and are in serious danger of missing out on qualification this term.
Wagner’s main issue at Huddersfield was a lack of elite level talent, but he nevertheless managed to produced miracles at the Kirklees Stadium and will certainly be coveted following his exit. At Hoffenheim he would have the necessary quality at his disposal to thrive, and having now gained valuable experience at the helm of a top-flight club, as well as his previous knowledge of the Bundesliga, he may be ready to take on a job of Hoffenheim’s magnitude.
Throughout the season there have been tentative whispers that Domenico Tedesco is under increasing pressure from the Schalke board following an extremely poor start to the campaign, with the club currently just three places off third-last (the two-legged promotion/relegation play-off system).
Tedesco has been hailed as the next rising star in football management, such is his attention to detail and meticulous preparation, and at just 33, there is still plenty to learn for the Italian, who is still just two years into management.
However, should results fail to pick up, then Schalke may have no choice but to wield the axe – just look at Leonardo Jardim at Monaco – and Wagner, a former player, would be a perfect candidate to come in and stable the ship.
The Foxes are sitting pretty in eighth in the Premier League, but there is a growing frustration from Leicester fans towards Puel’s lack of ambition in domestic cup competitions and his style of play, with many concerned over his lack of playing identity.
And so with no threat of relegation, a cup run should have been the main target for Leicester, but they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Newport County earlier this month, and played a weakened side against Man City in the League Cup quarter-final – with City themselves playing a weakened XI.
On top of this, Puel decided to play three defensive midfielders against strugglers Southampton at the weekend, much to the derision of Foxes fans, and they even managed to lose 2-1 against 10 men.
A fresh change may be needed, but the age-old maxim ‘be careful what you wish for’ will no doubt be on the minds of those at the King Power Stadium – Puel is a safe pair of hands, but Wagner could take the club to another level. Do they take the risk?