Mauricio Pochettino Emerges as Favourite to Replace Zinedine Zidane

Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino
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Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is the leading candidate for the Real Madrid manager’s seat, should the club get rid of current boss Zinedine Zidane (Marca).

Zidane has had an immensely successful return to the Bernabeu, winning two league titles and three Champions Leagues over two managerial spells.

However, a below-par start to the season has left Los Blancos in fourth place in La Liga, and on the verge of an embarrassing group-stage exit in the Champions League. This has cranked up the pressure on Zidane, who reportedly has just four games to save his job.

Zidane Looking on as Shakhtar defeat Madrid
Zidane Looking on as Shakhtar defeat Madrid

Spanish publication Marca are now saying that Real Madrid have two replacements lined up should Zidane get the sack, with Mauricio Pochettino currently ahead of club legend Raul in the queue.

Pochettino became one of the world’s most highly regarded managers while at Tottenham Hotspur, leading them to runner-up finishes in the Premier League and Champions League on a tight budget. However, a disappointing start to the 2019/20 season saw the Argentine replaced by Jose Mourinho.

Raul, on the other hand, is very much an unknown quantity. He was a superstar as a player for Real Madrid, scoring over 300 goals and winning nine major trophies. However, his managerial experience is limited to just the Real Madrid reserve team.

Nonetheless, this would not leave the 43-year-old doomed to fail. After all, Zidane himself had no experience prior to taking the reins at the Bernabeu.

If Real Madrid are interested in bringing Pochettino to La Liga, then they may have to act fast, as French giants Paris Saint Germain are also strongly linked to the former Southampton man.

Mauricio Pochettino Emerges as Favourite to Replace Zinedine Zidane
Pochettino is a man in demand

Current PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has under a year remaining on his contract, and it is unlikely that he will be granted an extension.

And now Talksport‘s Julien Laurens is reporting that the Argentinian could be set for a return to Paris.

“They could get rid of him (Tuchel) now and get someone in who would then have six months to prepare for next season, whether that’s someone like Pochettino…

“He has really good ties with PSG, he was their player, their captain, and he loves Paris as a city and a football club.”

Pochettino played for Les Parisiens for two-and-a-half years from January 2001 to June 2003.

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