8 Managers Who Could Replace Zidane
8 Managers Who Could Replace Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane announced his shock departure from Real Madrid on Thursday, which left even club president Florentino Perez stunned. Here are eight managers who could replace the Frenchman at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Tired of reading? Click through the gallery above to see eight coaches who could follow Zidane into Real's hot seat.
The Frenchman leaves the club just five days after becoming the first manager ever to win three successive Champions League titles.
Reports suggest that he only informed Perez of his decision on Wednesday evening, and the Los Blancos president seemed to still be in shock at Zidane's departing press conference on Thursday.
"It is a sad day, for me, for the club, the players, everyone at this club," Perez said, as quoted by ESPN.
"It is an unexpected decision – I loved him as a player, and coach, and wanted him always at my side.
"But when he takes a decision, the only thing we can do is respect it. I would have liked to convince him, but I know how he is, so the only thing I can do is offer my respect and acknowledgement, and tell him he will always be welcome here at his home.
"This is 'until soon' as I have no doubt that you will be back. Although if you need a rest, we understand that."
While Zidane's announcement may have come as a surprise for Perez, other reports indicate that he has long been preparing for the day the coach decided to depart the club.
His favourite option to replace the Frenchman is believed to be Mauricio Pochettino. The former Espanyol manager, who has steadily improved Tottenham Hotspur over the past four seasons, only recently signed a contract extension with the Lily Whites. However, Marca believes his new deal, which expires in 2023, has a special release clause if Real come calling.
Another name heavily linked with Los Blancos is former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman left the Gunners at the end of the 2017/18 campaign, after 22 years in charge, and is currently a free agent. However, it remains to be seen whether or not Perez would go for the 68-year-old, who has never won an international trophy.
Former Los Blancos midfielder, and teammate of Zidane's during their playing time at the club, Guti could be the in-house solution after impressing as a youth coach over the past four years. He was expected to take over Real's B-team Castilla side for the 2018/19 campaign, but could now be elevated to higher tasks.
The list of potential successors does not end there, however, with Germany's Joachim Low, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, Chelsea's Antonio Conte and former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri also having been linked with the club.
Even Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, who has always maintained a good relationship with Perez despite departing the club in 2013, could become an option.
Who do you think should take over from Zidane? Have your say in the comments section below.