LONDON: If Julen Lopetegui has not been sacked by the time you are reading this, it will be a big surprise.
The Real Madrid boss went into Sunday’s clash against arch-rivals Barcelona already under pressure, with his position as coach at the Bernabeu being questioned and needing a win to stave off his many critics. The 5-1 defeat at the Nou Camp was not the desired result and is likely to be the former Spain manager’s (right) last match in charge of the capital club.
Here we look at the main candidates to take on the high-pressured role in charge of the Spanish giants.
The former Chelsea boss is the favorite for the job, having been linked with the role ever since the cracks started to appear in the Lopetegui setup. He did well at Stamford Bridge under trying circumstances and that would help him cope with the huge pressure and demand for success at the 13-time European Cup winners. If there is one question mark hanging over him, it is whether his cautious style would go down well at the Bernabeu, but they coped with Jose Mourinho in the dugout so Conte should be more than palatable. THE REAL DEAL? 8 (out of 10)
Has long been linked with the Real job and despite recently signing a new contract at Tottenham, will doubtless be linked once again. One thing that could be in Real’s favor, were they to set their sights on the Argentine, is the coach’s growing frustration over a perceived lack of ambition at the north London club, something not helped by the embarrassing delays over the opening of their new stadium. THE REAL DEAL? 7
This appointment is not as leftfield as you may think. While he is yet to coach any top-level club, Guti is a club legend, having played for Los Blancos 387 times and managed the youth sides until this summer. The former midfield maestro is currently assistant at Besiktas, but would likely prove popular if chosen. THE REAL DEAL? 5
The former Arsenal boss recently said he was ready to return to work after a few months off, and what better club to delve back into management with than Real? Well, perhaps there are better ones that the high-pressed job at the Bernabeu, but we reckon the Frenchman will relish the challenge of rescuing the Madrid side’s season. THE REAL DEAL? 4