Real Madrid have reportedly ended their interest in Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.
Madrid have been without a manager since last week after Zinedine Zidane shockingly resigned despite having guided the club to a third successive Champions League title after they recently defeated Liverpool.
Balague said: “Real could see there was so many positives in signing him, not just the fact he can deal with the stars but how he improves players and how he works with youth players as well.
“But what they had in front of them was the possibility of negotiating with Daniel Levy for perhaps a month, even longer, with no guarantees whatsoever that they were going to get him.
“They know that Levy is a very tough negotiator, with Florentino [Perez, Real Madrid’s president] having been in touch with him in recent seasons.
“They’ve decided to abandon the possibility of signing Mauricio Pochettino.”
Pochettino has reportedly been on a radar of Los Blancos for a while. The Argentine has established himself as one of the best young managers in World football after transforming Spurs into one of the best sides in England after he took over the Lilywhites four-years ago.
However, hiring him at this point in time would have been difficult as the former Southampton boss recently signed a new five-year-deal to remain with Spurs.
The two leading contenders to become Madrid boss will now be former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as well as Antonio Conte.
From a neutral point of view, Conte should be the favorite. In addition to being younger than Wenger, the Italian has also tasted more success as a manager than his French compatriot over recent years.
However, if Conte opts to take another job, Los Blancos may have to hire Wenger on a one-year deal. There are not many managers with the same level of experience as the 68-year-old.