Real Madrid have reportedly compiled a five-man shortlist to replace Carlo Ancelotti, with Manchester United target Mauricio Pochettino among the names.
According to Defensa Central, Real Madrid are sketching out plans to replace Carlo Ancelotti just a year after re-appointing him and have identified five potential candidates who can take over from the Italian.
Real Madrid brought Ancelotti back at the helm of affairs last summer after Zinedine Zidane opted to step down from the managerial role. Since returning, the former PSG and Everton boss has done a solid job, taking Los Blancos to the top of the pile in La Liga while also overseeing their progress to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
However, the recent hammering that Real Madrid received at the hands of Barcelona in La Liga has shaken the faith of the hierarchy in Ancelotti. The Merengues have already drawn up a five-man shortlist to replace the legendary former AC Milan manager.
Currently at the top of the list, as per the report, is Real Madrid Castilla manager and club legend Raul Gonzalez. The iconic former striker has done a fine job with the junior team and has been making a strong case for himself to make the jump to the senior setup. Given his status within the club and among the fans, he is currently the favourite to replace Ancelotti should the Italian be sacked.
Real Madrid are also considering another former footballer and fan favourite, Xabi Alonso. One of the finest midfielders to have played for the club in the modern era, the ex-Spanish international is currently managing the Real Sociedad B team and has shown good acumen early in his managerial career. He is someone who knows the club’s philosophy in and out and is, hence, being considered for the job.
PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino is another candidate that Real Madrid are looking at. The Argentine could be on his way out of the French capital club after their latest debacle in Europe. But Los Blancos will face serious competition from Manchester United, who recently held talks with the ex-Tottenham boss to replace Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.
Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann is also on the radars of Real Madrid. The German is currently considered one of the brightest young tacticians in the footballing world and looks set to lead the Bavarians to the Bundesliga title this season. But his poor relationship with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic could lead to a separation of ways, with the Merengues waiting in the wings.
The last name on Real Madrid’s shortlist is Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. One of the best managers on the planet, the German has a contract with the Reds until 2024 but would be open to managing Madrid after that. However, an immediate switch to Spain is not on the cards for the ex-Borussia Dortmund boss.
While Real Madrid have a nine-point lead at the top of the league table, there is still a chance that Sevilla might pip them to the title. Furthermore, they have a difficult tie against Chelsea in Europe. So, Ancelotti has a hard task at his hands to lead Real Madrid to a trophy this term. Failure to do so could cost him his job.