Former Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui has reportedly been tipped to be in the running to replace Niko Kovac at Bayern Munich.
Spanish publication MARCA have reported that Julen Lopetegui could be primed to return to the footballing world as a manager of a top club soon. The former Real Madrid boss is said to be on the shortlist created by Bayern Munich to replace current incumbent Niko Kovac, who has not impressed in his maiden campaign at the helm at Allianz Arena.
Pep Guardiola’s departure as the Bayern Munich manager has left quite a big rebuilding job to be done at Allianz Arena. Carlo Ancelotti replaced the current Manchester City boss, but could not manage to bring stability to Die Roten, with Jupp Heynckes having to come out of retirement last season.
Last summer saw Niko Kovac return to the club he represented as a player, this time to take up the top job. But, it hasn’t been a bed of roses for Kovac and Bayern Munich, who were booted out of the UEFA Champions League at the Round of 16 and have been given a run for their money in Bundesliga after a slow start to the campaign.
Bayern are indeed now in the driver’s seat in the title race and will play the DFB Pokal final later this month. But, uncertainty continues to surround Kovac, ahead of a summer that will require major spending to replace ageing stars across the pitch. To that end, former Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui has emerged as a potential replacement option.
Lopetegui, who had joined Real Madrid amid controversial circumstances, endured a spectacular fall from grace earlier this season, after replacing Zinedine Zidane at the helm at the Bernabeu. Having failed to last even half-a-season with Los Blancos, he has been out of a job since November last year.
Real Madrid have since undergone another managerial change, with Zidane returning as the manager. Lopetegui though, could be set to return to club football management, with Bayern showing an interest in him.
The Bavarians have sought feedback on the former Real Madrid boss from Toni Kroos, and have been given glowing reports, although failure to settle in at the Bernabeu is quite a blot on his resume. And, at a time when Kovac has shown some mettle to turn his fortunes around, going after Lopetegui seems a bit baffling.
Nevertheless, it looks like he seems to be walking a tightrope, with Lopetegui and Erik ten Hag being considered as his replacements. Chances are though, that Kovac would stay, if Bayern complete the double this month, and if not, it remains to be seen whether former Real Madrid manager Lopetegui ends up making his way to Allianz Arena.