Real Madrid have ended their interest in Mauricio Pochettino and no longer see him as a potential successor to Zinedine Zidane
Mauricio Pochettino – the man many considered Florentino Perez’s priority target – will not be pursued further by Real Madrid according to Sky Sports journalist Guillem Balague.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 2, 2018
Pochettino had signed a long-term contract with Spurs days before Zidane’s departure, though it seemed early on that this new deal had a clause which would provide the Argentinian with an easy out should Real Madrid register their interest. This was not the case, however. And coupled with a prospect of dealing with Daniel Levy, Real Madrid have now been forced to look elsewhere. The Tottenham chairman is a tough negotiator as Real have experienced first hand when trying to force through moves for Gareth Bale and Luka Modric. Balague said:
“Real could see there was so many positives in signing him, not just the fact that he can deal with stars but he improves players and how he works with youth players as well. 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 are going to get him”
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) June 2, 2018
He also touched upon the fact that it leaves Madrid in a very precarious situation. There aren’t many top managers available in the market, so if they like a manager then they’ll have to make a move for him irrespective of the contract situation. He added:
“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.”
Another interesting aspect of Real Madrid’s interest was how they made use of the media. Balague revealed the same saying:
“They [Real Madrid] leaked to the media with the idea of adding pressure that there was a deal between Levy and Pochettino where he could leave for Madrid, but that was also false and very quickly squashed by Spurs. There really was no door half open.”
Zidane’s sudden departure left Real Madrid in a position that they are not used to being in. Not many leave Los Blancos on their own terms. Now, the club board is in a haste to finalise their new manager as soon as possible. Pochettino being ruled out does not help that one bit. Wenger still remains the bookmakers favourite but his appointment would range from underwhelming to infuriating for the fans.