The heat has been turned right up on Manuel Pellegrini.
Manchester City’s disastrous recent run, and most notably their comprehensive defeat against fierce rivals Manchester United, has further thinned the ice supporting the Chilean.
His position began to look even more precarious this week with news from Germany that Jurgen Klopp is to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season.
City are well off the pace in the Premier League and out of all other competitions.
Most believe that the 61-year-old is unlikely to be sacked before he can ensure his side limp across the Champions League qualification line, but that this downturn in the club’s fortunes will see them part ways in the summer.
Klopp is now the hot favourite for the role, but Dortmund’s form this season has blemished his record slightly.
Here are three alternatives should the Citizens look elsewhere…
The dream appointment. Everything he touches seems to turn to silverware.
Pep is the most sought after manager in the world and would represent a huge coup for City should they manage to obtain his services.
The Spaniard has all the right experience and simply ticks all the boxes but has indicated his intention to see out his full Bayern Munich contract which does not expire until 2016.
Director of football at the Etihad Stadium though, is one Txiki Begiristain, a friend from the coach’s Barcelona days.
If he could convince Guardiola to join him, City’s potential in the transfer market would be further enhanced.
Their huge spending power, coupled with the 44-year-old’s reputation, would give them potential to attract the world’s best talent.
Guardiola though, a thoughtful and measured character, will not simply jump at a big salary and bottomless transfer pot like most.
For him only the right people at the right time would represent suitable employers and City might need to consider a longer strategy involving an interim boss if they are serious about Pep.
A household name in Manchester since 1998, when he was the ‘victim’ of the kick that saw David Beckham sent off in a World Cup quarter final.
Simeone would represent a slightly easier target than the all conquering Guardiola, but City would still be getting a coach with outstanding credentials.
The former midfielder has enjoyed superb success in La Liga but may now need to leave to give himself a proper opportunity to eclipse the rival powers of Barcelona and Real Madrid.
He has exceeded all expectations but in order to truly dominate domestically and in Europe, a move may be necessary.
The Atletico boss would bring battling qualities which recently seem lacking at the Etihad Stadium along with a proven track record in terms of tactics, passion and motivation.
The Argentine might also be able to play a key role in keeping compatriot and prized asset Sergio Aguero.
The main sticking point in any deal though would be the 44-year-old’s current contract which has him tied to Atletico until 2020.
A less glamorous choice, but one who the champions and their mega-rich owners would be unwise to rule out.
Koeman’s early managerial record was mediocre at best. But his last two jobs have seen him display all the traits City should be looking for.
He achieved impressive results at Feyenoord and has now done the same in the Premier League with Southampton.
On both occasions the Dutchman seems to have formed his squad into a strong unit, and most remarkably, done it very quickly.
He took over the Saints after a mass clearout of the club’s best players and rapidly produced the goods with a squad assembled form players most people in England had never heard off.
His side play attractive attacking football while boasting the league’s tightest defence.
In the transfer market too, his record since arriving in the Premier league has been excellent, making him a prime candidate to be tasked with recruiting much-needed new blood in Manchester.
Should be hot favourite for manager of the year and would not require the same financial outlay to appoint as either of the other two options.