It looks like France is enjoying a little game of managerial merry-go-round at the moment and former Chelsea legend Claude Makélélé is the next name to join the circus. Currently on the coaching staff of Paris Saint-Germain, the former France international is set to become the new boss at SC Bastia.
Newspaper L’Equipe are reporting that he has agreed a two-year deal at the Ligue 1 club and it will be confirmed by the end of the week. It comes after he turned down a contract extension at Paris Saint-Germain.
Frederic Hantz made his decision to leave the Corsican club at the end of the season, he guided Bastia from the third-tier Championnat National all the way to Ligue 1 within two years, going unbeaten at home for two years. His are big shoes to fill, but it will be an interesting first job for Makélélé.
His club career is virtually a who’s who of European football: Marseille, Nantes, Celta Vigo, Real Madrid, Chelsea and finally Paris Saint-Germain. Once he hung up his boots in 2011 he became one of the assistants to Italian Carlo Ancelotti, ending his career with five league titles, one Champions League medal and a host of cup victories.
Some players go on to make great coaches, some prefer to stay away from the managerial side of the game, but if any player was ever going to make the step up to management it was going to be Makélélé.
The way he played the game was very studious, and he was always one of the smartest players on the pitch. Never rushed for time when he was in control of the ball, he nearly always made the right decision.
His time as an assistant manager has been under both Ancelotti and Laurent Blanc, two different managers in different eras, he will have learnt a lot of different things from his three years in Paris.
Bastia finished 10th in Ligue 1 this season, it would be difficult for the club to repeat this next season, but surviving in the league will be Makélélé’s first task. It would not be an easy job, but it is a great stepping stone for anyone looking to get into management.