Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp emerges as Real Madrid’s top target to replace Zinedine Zidane

JURGEN KLOPP has emerged as the first choice of Real Madrid fans to be the successor to Zinedine Zidane as manager of the world’s most glamorous football club.

Posted Sunday, June 03, 2018 by

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp emerges as Real Madrid’s top target to replace Zinedine Zidane
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has become Real Madrid's top target

The Liverpool boss, whose team lost in the Champions League final against Real last weekend, received 29 per cent of the vote in a poll of Madrid supporters.

That was significantly above the bookmakers’ favourite, Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino, who was in second place on 23 per cent.

It is all part of the dance that starts whenever Real Madrid are looking for a new first team boss or buying their next galactico superstar player.

Madrid can be the masters of manipulation in these situations... slow, slow, quick, quick, slow.

Whispers and rumours are elevated into fact. The publicity machine spins out information that Real are running hot and then cold on their supposed target.

All the while a process of destabilisation occurs while the other club tries to keep hold of their manager or player. Liverpool and Spurs know this only too well.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp emerges as Real Madrid’s top target to replace Zinedine Zidane
Liverpool news: Could Jurgen Klopp replace Zinedine Zidane?

So do Klopp and Pochettino. That’s why, surely, it emerged that Pochettino has given himself a five-day deadline for any approach by Real Madrid to be made and, if so, dealt with one way or the other.

The Argentine is believed to be the favoured option of Real president Florentino Perez, who has long been impressed by Pochettino’s work at Tottenham but had not expected Zidane to quit last week.

Pochettino has just signed a lucrative new five-year contract at Tottenham, which does not include a clause allowing an easy exit to Real.

Asked about the issue a couple of days ago, Pochettino said: “When Madrid call you, you have to listen. Although in this case it doesn’t depend on me. I have just signed a contract at Tottenham and I am very happy there.”

In one sense, Pochettino will win either way. But a messy saga could harm his wider reputation. Imposing a deadline is an intelligent move.

If Real Madrid crave him enough, they have to make a move now and then discover whether there is enough money or pressure to persuade Tottenham to let him go.

For the moment, Klopp remains some way down in the betting odds, behind other Premier League faces like veteran Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte, very likely to leave Chelsea in the next few days.

But the mood may change quickly with news of the supporters’ poll.

That can be a crucial factor in the politics of Real Madrid, and the Liverpool manager is being touted as the best option by some in the Spanish media as well.

The same question will arise for him as for Pochettino were Real to make a formal approach.

How does a manager resist the lure of the best-known football team on Earth?

Zidane, meanwhile, was at the centre of speculation that Qatar are willing to offer him a salary of £50million a year to take charge of their national side.

If not, it may be that he could be tempted by English football and take charge of Chelsea.

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