Champions League winners Real Madrid have started their season on a terrible note under new boss Julen Lopetegui. The 13-time European Champions are without a win in their last five games and crisis is always just a couple of defeats away when you are the coach of one of the biggest clubs in world football. With the El Clasico looming it would come as no surprise that a defeat would mean that Lopetegui’s days at the helm of affairs are numbered at the Santiago Bernabeu. Hence we take a look at the potential five candidates who could replace the Spaniard as the Los Blancos boss.
#1 Arsene Wenger
After 22 long years at Arsenal, Wenger finally stepped down as the Gunner’s boss ahead of the season. The Frenchman who is keen to get back to management is one of the most consistent coaches in the world. Le Professeur has led Arsenal to Premier League and FA Cup glory in the past and is definitely among the contenders for the top job. Wenger has been offered Real Madrid job on multiple occasions in the past; however, his loyalty to arsenal has seen him turn down the offer each time. With the financial backing of Florentino Perez and the experience of Arsene Wenger, Real Madrid could become a force to reckon with, if the 69-year-old takes over at the Santiago Bernabeu
#2 Antonio Conte
The former Chelsea and Juventus boss is one of the high profile names currently without a club. Conte had a fantastic start to life in England and won the Premier League title with Chelsea in his debut season. However, last season things did not go according to his plan, and the Blues finished 5th, thus missing out on a Champions League place. Despite their poor season, Conte led Chelsea to FA Cup glory, before being sacked ahead of the new season. The Italian is a serial winner, having won the Serie A in his three successive seasons in Turin as the head coach of Juventus. Conte has worked with big players and massive egos in the past, and this is something Florentino Perez will have to keep in mind. Conte’s back three system was a revelation in the Premier League, and soon several teams switched to three at the back and started taking notes from the Italian genius. With Real Madrid, Conte has the perfect players to execute his 3-4-3 system. The likes of Marcelo and Dani Carvajal would be the ideal fits for his wingbacks. If Conte is handed the job, this could be a match made in heaven
#3 Leonardo Jardim
Jardim was unfortunate to see his stint at AS Monaco come to an end, but there are no doubts about the tactical prowess of the Venezuelan-born coach. Despite selling their best talent year after year, Jardim managed to keep Monaco competitive. The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva made a name for themselves under the stewardship of Jardim. The 44-year-old surprised the world when he ended big-spending PSG’s grasp on the Ligue 1 title in the 2016-17 season where his Monaco side played some breath-taking football and finished the season as one of the highest scorers in Europe. With Jardim one this is for certain, Real Madrid will develop the young Spanish talent in their ranks.
#4 Mauricio Pochettino
The Tottenham Hotspurs boss is currently one of the most admired coaches in world football. The Argentine tactician has transformed Spurs since he took charge at White Hart Lane. His ability to make the most of a limited squad is something the Galacticos will have in mind considering no reinforcements will arrive until January. Despite being given no budget to work with, Pochettino has been consistent in keeping up with the progress of the wealthier clubs in the English Premier League. Several young players have flourished under his tutelage and Spurs are now among the contenders for the Champions League spot if not for the Premier League title.
#5 Roberto Martinez
For those who have followed English Football, Roberto Martinez is not a stranger. He first rose to fame with Swansea before clinching the FA Cup with Wigan Athletic with a shock victory over Manchester City. He received severe criticism for his stint at Everton but has now evolved into one of the most promising coaches in football after taking over as the head coach of Belgium. The 45-year-old guided Belgium to a third-place finish at the World Cup this year after finding the perfect blend for the attacking stars at this disposal. Under Martinez, Belgium have lost just two games out of the 31 matches he was in charge of, boasting a win percentage of 74.2%. However, since Martinez has never managed a Champions League club, it would be a gamble if the Madridista’s hire him.