Real Madrid are searching for their next manager to replace Zinedine Zidane, and the rumor mill is pointing towards two experienced managers as the favorites.
The first is Antonio Conte, who is completely available after mutually parting ways with Inter Milan due to their financial issues and the potential for them to take a step back after selling stars like Achraf Hakimi.
But the second is reportedly the more favored option in Valdebebas, Mauricio Pochettino.
The current PSG manager was linked to the Real Madrid job back when he was first a free agent when Tottenham surprisingly fired him, but Real did not have a vacancy open up.
Now that they do, though, Pochettino is working in Paris. There has been unrest between Pochettino and sporting director Leonardo, who already pushed Champions League-winning manager Thomas Tuchel out the door this past season, but Real’s relationship with PSG is so delicate that they cannot risk pursuing someone under contract.
Mauricio Pochettino may want out of PSG so that he can join Real Madrid
That may change soon. Because Goal.com’s Mario Cortegana reports that Mauricio Pochettino has asked PSG to allow him to leave the club. He could still stay, and the decision is PSG’s to make.
But it sounds like he would prefer to go to Real Madrid, with the attractiveness of the Santiago Bernabeu and the friction between Leonardo potentially being two key reasons.
Leonardo and Pochettino’s relationship may be tense, but it is not broken yet. Still, Pochettino’s reported request gives Florentino Perez hope that he can sign his top target. Pochettino has question marks about his ability to lead an elite side, but it is true that Leonardo and Daniel Levy are not always the most supportive in their direction. Perez puts pressure on his managers, but he has generally shown a willingness to get them the players they want.
Want your voice heard? Join the The Real Champs team!
Further, Pochettino and Perez probably would not have fiery clashes, whereas that is the cheap concern with Conte, even if Conte’s resume and tactical nous are seen as superior to Poch’s by some. Both are strong candidates, and it is encouraging news for Real Madrid that Pochettino wants out of PSG, ostensibly to pursue Los Blancos’ opening.