Where to next for Tony Popovic: Coaching Socceroos, Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory or in Asia?

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The Australian coach is facing imminent demise in Turkey but there is likely to be no shortage of options for him going forward

It's fair to say that quite a few clubs and the FFA will be having closed-door discussions about Tony Popovic after news emerged he is likely to be sacked from Turkish side Karabukspor in the coming days.

Even if reports are incorrect about Popovic's impending sacking, it will surely take a miracle for him to remain in Turkey long-term with Karabukspor rooted to the bottom of the Turkish Super Lig standings having only won one league match in their eight since he took charge.

But despite his struggles in Turkey, it could be worse for Popovic with the coveted Socceroos job available and the two biggest A-League clubs possibly needing new managers in the near future.

Where could Popovic land next?

Socceroos

Popovic hasn't been talked about in discussions about Australia's new manager previously because he only moved to take the helm at Karabukspor 76 days ago.

Now everything has changed.

The 44-year-old has admitted in the past few days he would love to coach the national team one day, and if the FFA decides to go with an Australian candidate, he has better pedigree than most - having guided Western Sydney Wanderers to an Asian Champions League title, an A-League premiers plate and three grand finals.

Tony Popovic

While Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold is obviously the No.1 home-grown candidate for the role, Popovic would certainly be alongside Melbourne Victory's Kevin Muscat as next best.

If the FFA decides poaching Arnold is the best way forward, then there could be the option to appoint Popovic alongside the Sky Blues coach - forming an experienced duo to lead the green and gold at the World Cup.

The question whether an assistant coach role is beneath Popovic personally, but it would allow him to recover after a turmultous few months in Turkey before helping the national team and consider his long-term future.

Sydney FC

If Arnold decides to leave Sydney FC for the Socceroos role, then surely Popovic will be considered as a possible replacement.

While many Sky Blue and Wanderers fans might be upset at Popovic taking the helm of the Harbour City club after his role in establishing the red and black, the fact that 11 players have played for both clubs proves that the divide can be crossed successfully.

Popovic has strong roots at Sydney FC having spent four years there as a player and an assistant coach, and you may be surprised to know he actually coached the team once in a caretaker capacity for a friendly against Shanghai Shenhua in 2009 after the sacking of John Kosmina.

Tony Popovic

Melbourne Victory

The availability of Popovic adds an interesting dynamic to the future of Muscat, whose tenure at Victory is looking increasingly shaky.

Aside from an ill-fated half-season stint with Northern Irish coach Jim Magilton, Victory have only ever had home-grown managers in their 13 A-League campaigns.

Many might argue Popovic's pragmatic coaching style goes against the free-flowing attacking football Victory have played over the last six seasons, but others might say it's time for a change in tact with a stale feeling hovering over club.

While Popovic might not bring swashbuckling football to AAMI Park, he's coaching has developed over the years to be more attacking and there is no doubt he can get results in the A-League - just look at his record.

If Victory are keen on their next manager being Australian, aside from an unlikely return for Ange Postecoglou, then Popovic and Central Coast Mariners manager Paul Okon would have to be high on their wish list.

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Asia

Popovic has admitted publicly he has received a number of offers to coach Asian-based clubs during his time at the Wanderers, including a previously reported link to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua.

His success in the Asian Champions League should mean that clubs in nations such as Japan, China and South Korea could be perked up by his availability.

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