Real Madrid have reportedly ended their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, who had been their primary target to replace Zinedine Zidane. It’s probably for the best, as it never looked very likely to begin with. Sky Sports Guillem Balague, one of the world’s foremost reporters on football transfers, especially so concerning teams in Spain, reports that Madrid have now dropped the idea of landing the Argentine.
“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,” said Balague on Sky News.
“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.”
“That makes life very difficult for Real Madrid because there is not someone you could consider an automatic candidate after Pochettino. They will have to look at other possibilities including all the managers that are already in a job with a contract.”
Where Madrid go next is anyone’s guess, as there is no clear favorite after Pochettino, but the list of other potential candidates includes two other men who led London clubs this year in Antonio Conte and Arsene Wenger.
Pochettino, when asked to comment on the situation, said that when Real Madrid call you have to listen, but that he’s happy right where he is right now. Pochettino just signed a five year contract extension last week.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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