Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas looks certain to leave the French club after they sacked sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta on Thursday night, sources have told ESPN.
The former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur boss was very close to the former Spanish goalkeeper who brought him to the club last summer. The Portuguese has always said that his destiny at Marseille was linked to the one of Zubizarreta.
They really enjoyed working together this season, sometimes having to fight against the club's president Jacques-Henri Eyraud who never really saw eye-to-eye with Zubizarreta during their stormy four-year collaboration.
Eyraud told French radio on Friday: "It is true, I have heard Andre mentioning that he has a big doubt to continue here without [Zubizarreta].
"No one is over the club, not a manager, not a sporting director or even a president. Andre is the Marseille manager and I hope he stays for many years. But he has not told me that he would stay.
"I spoke to Andre and his agent. I want to work with him on the long term, but I haven't made him any offers."
Losing Villas-Boas, 42, would be a huge blow for OM. The Portuguese secured the club Champions League football for the first time in six years.
However, Eyraud knew that by getting rid of Zubizarreta, he was also risking losing Villas-Boas. This could also cause a bigger rift between Eyraud and the players as most of them enjoyed an excellent relationship with their manager.
Eyraud has been chosen to lead the club by Frank McCourt, the American businessman who bought the club four years ago.
Villas Boas' man management and tactical abilities have been great this season. He made the most of his team's potential, albeit not always playing the most attractive style of football.
Jacques-Henri Eyraud, Marseille president on AVB on French radio: "It is true, I have heard André mentioning that he has a big doubt to continue here without Andoni (Zubizarreta).
"No one is over the club, no a manager, not a sporting director or even a president. André is the Marseille manager and I hope he stays for many years. But he has not told me that he would stay."
"I spoke to André and his agent. I want to work with him on the long term but I haven't made him any offers."
AVB is back in Porto now and there is no date for a return to Marseille.
Also, Marseille have already approached other managers. Bruno Genesio, Leonardo Jardim, Christophe Galtier are contenders, Lucien Favre, if he leaves Dortmund as well. Rafa Benitez is expensive (like Jardim) but interests Marseille as well.