Real Madrid won't rush managerial appointment as Blancos target Pochettino

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In the wake of Zinedine Zidane's shock departure from Santiago Bernabeu, the European champions find themselves back in the market for a new boss

Zinedine Zidane’s sudden departure at Real Madrid caught everybody by surprise, but the Blancos will not be rushing into appointing a successor as they seek to identify the right candidate for the job.

Those at Santiago Bernabeu had been hoping to enjoy a relatively quiet summer, with attention shifting towards World Cup matters in the wake of a historic third successive Champions League triumph.

Zidane’s decision to step down following their 3-1 victory over Liverpool has scuppered plans for a period of stability and continuity, with the Frenchman stunning players, supporters and officials with his resignation.

Madrid were not prepared for this, with no Plan B drawn up which would have a ready-made alternative already in their sights.

It did not take long, however, for feelers to be put out to those considered to be leading candidates for the role, with Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino and Germany manager Joachim Low quickly identified as favoured options.

The Spurs boss faced questions regarding a possible return to Spain at an event to promote his new book on Friday, with the former Espanyol coach offering cryptic responses as he countered a commitment to a newly-signed contract in England by leaving the door open to future challenges elsewhere .

Freeing the Argentine from a deal through to 2023 will not be easy, while Low has also recently committed to fresh terms in his current post and has sought to distance himself from claims that he could be tempted to break that agreement within a matter of weeks.

Madrid, therefore, have plenty to ponder.

They have been admirers of Pochettino for some time, with his coaching career having been closely followed since his days in Catalunya at Espanyol.

Since then he has faced the Blancos in continental competition, with his credentials for a high-profile post in the Spanish capital enhanced by the claiming of four points from the Blancos during the 2017-18 Champions League – a competition Zidane’s side would go on to win.

Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham 2017-18

While he remains a top target at this stage, Madrid need to get their next appointment right.

A club which has enjoyed domestic and European success aplenty in recent years is aware that it has reached the end of one important cycle and the start of another.

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This may prove to be a summer of change on and off the field, while anyone stepping into Zidane’s sizeable shoes will not boast the same level of respect and authority around the dressing room that a man already part of the coaching team in Madrid had when inheriting the top job.

Now is a time for considered contemplation at the Bernabeu.

Things are tense, of course, but there is also a sense of calm around the club as they endeavour to ensure that the smoothest of transitions is made from one era to the next.

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