Real Madrid are eyeing a move for Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino, according to reports. Reports in Spain say that the Saints’ boss is on a shortlist of coaches to eventually replace Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid.
The Argentine coach is the leading candidate to succeed the Italian at the Bernabeu, if Carlo Ancelotti is unable to deliver a major trophy- basically the league or the Champions League.
The Argentine coach has turned the Saints into a Premier League force since his arrival last season.
Real are boosted with reports that Pochettino is unsettled by the departure from the club of former chairman Nicola Cortese and had earlier admitted that he would leave the club if Cortese did. Cortese was understood to be at disputes with club owner Katharina Liebherr, as he had made too many demands in the running the club since their Premier League return. Pochettino had been quoted as saying (about a possible Cortese departure):
“I would not understand a Southampton without Nicola being here. “The person who actually called me from the start, told me about the project and put his faith in me, in this club and as a manager was Nicola. Nicola Cortese has basically been the reality at Southampton for the past four years.“
In March last year the Argentine was briefly linked with the Real Madrid job when Mourinho’s future was in doubt. Real pondered the possibility of losing Moutinho and had lined up Pochettino as one of the possible replacements.
In June 2009 he had also been lined up by Real as a possible No. 2 to first-team coach Manuel Pellegrini but instead stayed at Espanyol – a club, he had saved from relegation, the previous season.
Ancelotti has come under fire recently, after his side was held to a draw against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday which left the Los Blancos three points behind rivals Atletico; also denying them an opportunity to go past Barcelona in the league table.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has drawn up a list of managers and the list includes the Premier League manager. However, the other two candidates for the job are also equally credible and have the credentials to lead a high profile club like Real as they are current Madrid assistant manager/sporting director Zinedine Zidane and Athletic coach Ernesto Valverde.