Marca’s front page headline: ‘No hurry to name the successor’ gave the game away a bit on Friday morning.
Florentino Perez’s failure to properly support Zinedine Zidane as coach throughout last season has cost the club its manager and now they need to find a replacement with one of the key players they had sounded out through last season now signed up elsewhere.
Sportsmail looks at the options.
Marca reported that Real Madrid are in no rush to find a successor for Zinedine Zidane
Zindane (left) has quit as boss but Madrid have not acted quickly enough and have now missed out on key target Max Allegri (right), who is returning to Juventus
One of the reasons for Zidane wanting to walk away were Madrid’s search for his replacement during the last campaign.
Pochettino was one man the club targeted towards the end of 2020 when it seemed Madrid might go out of the Champions League at the group stage.
Pochettino would have replaced Zidane the last time he quit had he not signed a long contract with Daniel Levy making him impossible to get out of Tottenham.
Once again he’s under contract but it’s a short one at PSG and if they sense they can get Zidane, who has told Real Madrid players he will coach next season if the right opportunity arises, then they may let him go.
Mauricio Pochettino’s ability to develop young players has made him attractive to Real Madrid
Poch has a fondness for Tottenham and London but he also has a family home in Spain and if he’s given the choice of going back to something he knows or taking on a new challenge the fear for Tottenham is that he will go with something new.
Would he be a success at Real Madrid? Well it’s a club where you have to win things and his track record in that department – failure to win Ligue 1 included – is not great. But he is the master of building very good teams with young talented, but still raw players.
Right now Madrid is full of players with potential and the possibility of Pochettino taking Miguel Gutierrez, Eder Militao, Victor Chust, Antonio Blanco, Martin Odegaard, Brahim Diaz, Take Kubo, Marvin Park, Sergio Arribas, Vinicius, Fede Valverde and Rodrygo and building a brilliant new team looks viable and exciting.
Madrid feel the PSG boss could get the best out of young, raw talent at the club like Vinicuis Jr
Another candidate who ticks the ‘develop young players’s box is club legend Raul who narrowly failed to get the club promoted to Spain’s second tier this past season.
Raul knows most of the aforementioned youngsters well and he won the UEFA Youth League last year with them.
The problem he has – and it’s a big one – is that president Perez is against the idea of promoting him right now.
Real legend Raul is currently managing the Castilla side and is the fans’ favourite to take over
He is the fans’ favourite but Perez doesn’t need to do anything too populist right now having only just won an election to stay as president until 2025.
Raul keeps being referred to as another Vicente del Bosque in the making.
That’s not helping either, Del Bosque was sacked by Perez after he won the league in 2003.
They don’t really want to give him the job and saying that he is too inexperienced is the perfect excuse not to do it if they can find an alternative.
President Florentino Perez feels Raul is too inexperienced and foes not want to promote him
Conte is the clear alternative to Pochettino and on the winning things front he beats him hands down.
There is a theory that he would be too disciplinarian for Real Madrid’s dressing room but Perez has never shied away from coaches who are willing to take on the players.
The last time Conte was in the frame Sergio Ramos went public with a thinly-veiled veto. He said the club didn’t need a taskmaster – Carlo Ancelotti having proved that it was not necessary to be a tough guy at Madrid in order to win things.
Antonio Conte trumps Pochettino is terms of trophies and is available after leaving Inter Milan
But Ramos right now has very little clout in terms of who the new man is. The captain is just weeks from being out of contract and his battle to get a two-year deal at the club instead of the one-year contract on the table is one he has lost.
Conte likes to play with a back three and Madrid have the players to play that system, even more so with the imminent arrival of David Alaba.
It would still feel to some at the club like flicking a match into a fireworks factory but if Pochettino stays at PSG it’s an option.
Sergio Ramos would likely object to disciplinarian Conte getting in but has little clout at the minute
Not only has he built an exciting youth team at Real Sociedad but when push came to shove in the promotion play-offs he got them over the line and up into the second tier of Spanish football.
It was a massive achievement and one that Raul failed to pull-off. Perez is a big fan of Alonso but the 39-year-old coach is far too shrewd to accept the job right now.
He knows he’ll be offered the position again in the future. He has already turned down other clubs.
If he stays at Real Sociedad into next season testing himself in Spain’s second division ought to be challenge enough.
Xabi Alonso (left) is a Real Madrid boss in the making but would not accept the job right now