The managerial merry-go round is in full swing once again and after recent events at Real Madrid it is one that has taken a couple of continental spins. The club’s announcement to sack Julen Lopetegui on Monday may have created some shockwaves, although at the same time it will have had come as no real surprise either.
The post Ronaldo/Zidane era has got off to a nightmare start as Real Madrid have spluttered their way through the opening two months of this season, and if Lopetegui was under pressure going into last Sunday’s El Clasico meeting with Barcelona then he will have been dead man walking come full time.
Barcelona were rampant at Camp Nou as they eased to a sensational 5-1 win in front of their own fans, a result that was undoubtedly the death knell for Lopetegui. A status that was confirmed just 24 hours later when he was given his marching orders.
So the question that will have to be asked is who exactly will enter what is arguably the hottest seat in the game? At present the role of caretaker has been given to former Madrid midfielder Santiago Solari. The Argentine has been in charge of the Castilla (Real Madrid B) team at present, so this was almost the natural choice in the short term.
But what about the long term? It was the same path that Madrid went down after sacking Rafael Benitez, then they of course appointed the legendary Zinedine Zidane. Although at the same time he was being prepared for top class management long before then and it was just a matter of time as to when he would be installed full time.
Is Solari the man to take on the role full time, you would have to say probably not. Therefore if he is not the man to do so then who is. The obvious choice would be Antonio Conte who is currently out of work after departing Chelsea i the Summer.
Whether he is free to manage again right now after a supposed courtroom struggle with his former employers in regard to whether he will get a full lump sum in terms of compensation is the main issue in announcing him at the Santiago Bernabeu.
While the other is that he has supposedly demanded reinforcements at both ends of the pitch in January, one to try and replace the goals that have been left behind by Cristiano Ronaldo and also to switch to a back three that Conte knows and loves so well.
If it is not to be Conte then maybe Solari will have to be the safe pair of hands until the end of the season, if that is to be the case then the rumour mill will undoubtedly be working overdrive in both North London and Manchester as Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho will be linked with the vacancy.
At the same time though what if they were to give it to someone more senior, what if Arsene Wenger ended his managerial hiatus and become Real Madrid manager. The club have been long admirers of the former Arsenal boss, could they finally get their man? Well stranger things have happened in Football.