Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has emerged as an early favourite to replace Zinedine Zidane following the Frenchman’s sudden exit from Real Madrid.
Zidane, who recently led the Los Blancos to their third consecutive Champions League triumph, announced on Thursday morning that he has stepped down from his position despite spending two-and-a-half glorious years in the Spanish capital.
Real Madrid and club president Florentino Perez in particular, are now left with the ultimate task of replacing the club legend this summer and Arsene Wenger, who recently ended his near 22-year spell as the Arsenal manager, has been considered as the leading contender for the Real Madrid hot seat.
As per the bookmakers, Wenger has a 3/1 odds of replacing Zidane followed by Antonio Conte, who has emerged as the second favourite to take charge of the European champions by 4/1.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is also heavily linked with the Real Madrid job with 6/1 odds, just behind Los Blancos legend Guti. The former Spanish midfielder has been managing Real’s youth team since 2013 and it would be quite naive to write him off just yet as he holds 5/1 odds to imminently replace his former teammate.
Former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has also been linked with the job but it’s Arsene Wenger who leads the line involving star-studded managerial contenders.
The 68-year-old recently ruled out any possibility of his imminent retirement and appeared quite excited for a new managerial chapter.
“It is exciting now because I can be tested again. That’s what I want in my life. I am a competitor who wants to be tested,” Wenger told beIN Sports (via the Dailymail).
“I don’t know what will happen but I’m in front of an empty page and I have to write the next chapter. I’m not very gifted to enjoy life and lie on the beach. I envy friends of mine who can do that.
“Very quickly I am bored because it is an addiction I have created. I have the addicted gene and you have to live with it.”
On the contrary, however, Spanish outlet Marca report that Real Madrid are determined to land Spurs’ head coach Mauricio Pochettino, who has previously managed La Liga side Espanyol.