Mauricio Pochettino ‘is Real Madrid’s favourite ahead of Raul to replace Zinedine Zidane as boss’ after another disappointing defeat by Shakhtar Donetsk piles the pressure on and leaves them facing Champions League humilitation
Mauricio Pochettino has become the leading candidate to replace Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid boss, according to reports in Spain.
The pressure continues to mount on Zidane after he saw his team fall to another disappointing defeat in the Champions League by Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, leaving their chances of qualifying for the knockout stages hanging by a thread.
According to Marca, Real will look to Pochettino if they decide to part ways with Zidane, who defiantly insisted that he would not quit despite their poor run of form.
Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly being lined up to replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid
The Frenchman has come under increasing pressure following a poor run of results at Real
No contact has been made with Pochettino as of yet, but Real know that reaching an agreement with the former Tottenham manager would not be an issue, given that the Argentine has never hidden his desire to manage the club one day.
The report also claims that the club’s legendary striker Raul is also in the running for the job but is seen as one for the future as he continues to cut his teeth with the club’s Castilla side.
Zidane came out swinging after Shakhtar completed the group stage double over them on Tuesday night, before telling reporters that he will not step aside in this ‘difficult’ moment.
‘I feel strong and I am going to keep giving everything as always,’ Zidane said after the defeat.
Real’s legendary striker Raul, who’s in charge of club’s Castilla side, is also in the running
‘I am not going to resign. This is a difficult moment but we have to show our pride and our character.’
Real were looking for revenge for October’s surprise 3-2 home reverse, but second-half goals from Dentinho and Solomon stunned them again.
Real have never failed to qualify for the knockout stages of a Champions League campaign in 24 attempts, but they have work to do now, while Shakhtar have a real chance of reaching the last 16 after climbing into second spot.
Madrid were helped by Inter Milan’s victory over Borussia Monchengladbach later on Tuesday which leaves them still with their fate in their own hands.
If they beat the Germans at home next week, one point above them on top of the group, they will qualify.
Madrid could still finish top if they win and Inter beat Shakhtar, but they could also finish bottom if they lose and Inter win.
Real were beaten by Shakhtar Donetsk for a second time this season on Tuesday evening
Real host Borussia Monchengladbach needing to better Shakhtar’s result against Inter Milan
Asked if he thought the team had serious problems, Zidane admitted: ‘This is a combination of things. The other day [in the league defeat to Alaves] we did not deserve to win, but tonight we did.
‘We prepared well for this game as if it was a final. Now we know that we have to win our final match.’
Real Madrid have just started a run of nine games in 33 days and in the league they have Sevilla and Atletico Madrid on the horizon.
The reigning LaLiga champions are currently fourth in the table and are seven points adrift of league leaders Real Sociedad.