Real Madrid are targeting Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, should the Los Blancos sack current boss Zinedine Zidane after a poor season so far.
Sport reports that president Florentino Perez has already decided that the Frenchman will not be in charge of the Santiago Bernabeu outfit come next season, despite winning two Champions League titles in his first two years.
Perez has eyed Joachim Low as their preferred candidate to replace him, but feel they could miss out as he focuses on guiding Germany to a second successive World Cup victory and is under contract with DFB until 2020.
One of the best young managers
Pochettino has won plaudits across the globe for his ability to turn young talent into superstars, guiding Tottenham to within touching distance of the Premier League title in his three-and-a-half years in charge.
Among the players he has guided to stardom is Harry Kane, who beat the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to be named top scorer in 2017 and has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in recent months.
Despite failing to win any trophies as Tottenham boss, the exciting style of football that he instils in his team, as well as, focus on youth and winning on a tight budget, has seen him tipped for some of the biggest jobs in world football, with Real Madrid only the latest club to want the 45-year-old Argentine.
Zidane out, Poch in?
Any move for Pochettino would spell the end for Zidane, who appears to be already on the way out with Los Blancos sitting fourth in La Liga and 16 points adrift of league leaders Barcelona.
They also only managed a second-place finish in their Champions League group, with a 3-1 defeat to Pochettino’s Tottenham resigning them to a tough draw of Paris Saint-Germain in the first knockout round.
It represents a dramatic fall from grace for the Zidane, whose only managerial job prior to Real Madrid was in charge of their reserve team Castilla. However, since getting the role in 2016, the Frenchman has guided the Los Blancos to two consecutive Champions League trophies, the first time it has been achieved, along with the La Liga title last season.
Matters off the pitch have also dissipated his relationship with Perez, with the pair disagreeing over whether to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga, while former Real striker Alvaro Morata warned the president at the start of the current campaign about Zidane’s inability to replace big-name players.