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19th Feb 2018

Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino head Real Madrid’s list to replace Zinedine Zidane

Zidane's future is still far from certain

Simon Lloyd

Two European Cups in his first two seasons in charge, yet Zinedine Zidane’s future as Real Madrid manager is still less than certain.

Although Real appear well placed to reach the Champions League quarter final stage after their 3-1 win against Paris Saint-Germain last week, the defence of their Spanish title appears all but over. They currently sit fourth in La Liga, 17 points behind leaders Barcelona, albeit with a game in hand.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s prompted some to speculate that Zidane may be no longer be in charge at the start of next season. Although a report from AS has claimed that Los Blancos have no plans to sack him, it adds that they are waiting for him to decide on his next move, implying Zizou could make the decision to step aside himself.

The same report also runs the rule over some of Zidane’s possible successors at the Bernabeu, with two Premier League-based managers heading the list of potential replacements.

Unsurprisingly, Mauricio Pochettino is one of them. The way in which his Tottenham side performed against Real Madrid in the Champions League group stages is thought to have impressed the Spanish giant’s hierarchy. Having previously coached in Spain, he seems like an obvious choice.

The report claims Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is also being eyed for the position. The Reds’ exciting brand of full throttle attacking football – which saw them steamroller FC Porto in midweek – is also thought to have caught the attention of Florentino Perez. Trying to lure the German to the Spanish capital may, however, prove difficult for Real – especially considering Klopp’s current contract at Anfield runs for another four years.

This, and the fact that Daniel Levy is said to be pushing hard to renew Pochettino’s contract at Spurs, might explain why Germany coach Joachim Low is also thought to be under consideration.

The 58-year-old coached Germany to the World Cup in Brazil four years ago, but may leave his position after this summer’s tournament in Russia. He has also been linked to Bayern Munich, who are currently employing Jupp Heynckes until the end of the season.