Revealed: Real Madrid forced to ‘settle’ for Lopetegui after being turned down by four managers

Image Credits - El Comercio
  • In Real Madrid Latest News, it has been revealed that Julen Lopetegui was not the first choice to replace Zinedine Zidane
  • The club contacted Pochettino, Allegri, Conte and Nagelsmann before settling for Lopetegui

Leading Spanish publication AS is the source of Real Madrid Transfer News today as they have revealed that club president Florentino Perez had prepared a shortlist of four managers to replace Zinedine Zidane and Julen Lopetegui was not a part of it.

While some managers might find it a bit insulting to have been called upon as a fifth choice for a job but the Santiago Bernabeu hotseat is not just any job and Lopetegui was happy to accept Perez’ offer, even at the cost of leaving the Spanish national team in a lurch merely days before the start of World Cup in Russia.

Following Zidane’s shocking resignation after securing his third successive Champions League title in Kiev, Perez was aware of the need to bring in an able replacement who could take the club to even greater heights under his tutelage. Four prominent names were sounded out as a part of this Real Madrid Transfer News shortlist and then contacted by Real Madrid to take up the vacant managerial post, most of whom have openly admitted that they were indeed called up by the European champions.

Mauricio Pochettino

The Tottenham Hotspur boss was Perez’ first choice to take Zidane’s place but by the time they contacted him, Spurs had already made their move to renew the 46-year-old’s contract. Further, Madrid were well aware of the nature of negotiations they had to endure with chairman Daniel Levy had they gone ahead and pursued Pochettino. The memories of being swiftly arm-twisted over the arrivals of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric are still fresh and the Argentine’s name had to be removed from the list of potential candidates.

Massimiliano Allegri

Max Allegri was next up on Real Madrid’s wish-list as his solid technical work at Juventus is held in high esteem at the Bernabeu. He has taken Juve to two Champions League finals during his time at the club and has been successful in leading them to greater heights in the Serie A.

More than saying ‘No’ to Real Madrid, I said ‘Yes’ to Juventus. I spoke to Florentino (Perez) but I turned him down. I had already made a decision to stay in Turin,” Allegri said.

In hindsight, it can be said that Allegri made the right call as he will now get to coach Cristiano Ronaldo but by staying at Juventus.

Antonio Conte

Despite never ending speculation around his future, Antonio Conte has remained tight-lipped ever since the end of last season and is yet to reveal his next destination after Chelsea. Also, he never really admitted to have been approached by Real Madrid but reliable sources in England had reported that the Italian tactician was in fact a part of this Real Madrid Transfer News and even given feelers through intermediaries and agents. He turned down all offers so as to receive a hefty compensation from Chelsea, which he would have missed out on had he left for a new club on his own accord before being sacked by the Blues.

Julian Nagelsmann

Nagelsmann, the young Hoffenheim coach has been making a lot of headlines in Real Madrid Transfer News circles after he sensationally revealed that he did not think twice about turning down Real Madrid earlier in the summer owing to his relative inexperience and the belief that more such opportunities will come his way in the future. He has, since then, agreed to join RB Leipzig before the start of 2019/20 season.

There is nothing bigger than Real Madrid but it was not the right time in my career to make the move,” he stated.


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