Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is leaving his role for the second time in the space of three years following on from a trophyless season.
Madrid missed out on the league title in Spain to rivals Atletico Madrid on the final day of the campaign and also lost out in the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea.
Having won a historic three successive Champions League titles in his first spell at the club, the Frenchman guided Los Blancos to last year’s La Liga title but he leaves the club with an ageing squad that requires renovation and investment.
Max Allegri had been the overwhelming favourite to be appointed in the Spanish capital this summer, but a recent turn in events now means it is highly unlikely.
Allegri looks set to be appointed as the next manager of Juventus this week as the club have decided for him to replace Andrea Pirlo.
The Italian won 11 trophies in five seasons at the Old Lady including a league title in each season and four domestic doubles, alongside reaching two Champions League finals.
Zidane’s exit will leave a significant void at one of world football’s biggest clubs, but who are the contenders to replace him in the dugout?
Raul – who is currently the coach of Real Madrid’s Castilla side, the de facto reserve side of Los Blancos – is the potential internal appointment at the club.
The former striker took the reins at Castilla in the summer of 2019 and guided the club’s Under-19 side to the UEFA Youth League crown in 2020.
This is a similar path to the one undertaken by Zinedine Zidane – who was appointed first-team boss in January 2016 – and he would be a good fit due to his familiarity with the club’s youngest players.
Player such as Antonio Blanco, Sergio Arribas, Miguel Guttierrez, Victor Chust, and Marvin Park – who have all been included in Madrid’s first-team squad this season – have all been partially developed by the 43-year-old.
Raul enjoyed a glittering club career for Real Madrid – scoring 323 goals and winning 16 trophies with the club, including six La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns.
Conte departed Inter earlier this week in the aftermath of guiding the club to their first Serie A title in 11 years.
The Italian is one of the most successful coaches in football but is known to have a highly combustible relationship with club’s ownerships – with the fall out at Inter mirroring that at Chelsea and Juventus earlier in his career.
It is alleged that the club’s financial problems and requirements to make significant financial savings led to the deterioration in the relationship, meaning Conte is now on the market.
The former midfielder has previously been courted by Madrid for the job and the timing of this announcement means that a move to the Spanish capital is now possible.
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The Argentine was only appointed at Paris Saint-Germain in January but could be the latest shock exit in this summer’s managerial merry-go-round.
Pochettinho has been linked to a stunning return to Tottenham this summer but he has long been admired by Real Madrid, and the club could tempt him with an offer if they are aware of his availability.
After all, as a native Spanish speaker and a previous coach of Espanyol, he would tick a lot of boxes for Real Madrid and could be the outsider’s choice.
The outgoing boss of the Germany international team is another name who has been on Real Madrid’s radar in recent years.
The 2014 World Cup winner’s stock has fallen in recent times after his nation’s meek exit from the 2018 World Cup and inconsistent form in the years since.
Germany crashed to a six-goal defeat in the Nations League last year and Low will be succeeded by Hansi Flick in the role this summer.
He will be a free agent, but Madrid may no longer hold Low in such high esteem.
Former Napoli and Chelsea boss Sarri has been out of work since leaving Juventus last summer, having guided them to the Serie A title.
Having taken Napoli to within a whisker of a historic league title and guiding the Blues to the 2019 Europa League crown.
The 62-year-old has an impressive recent record of success, even if he is unloved by former clubs, and could be an option at Madrid.