With Jose Mourinho thought to be on his way in the summer, who will be the man to replace him at the Santiago Bernabeu? Goal.com takes a look at the likely candidates
It seems widely accepted that Jose Mourinho has burned too many bridges at Real Madrid and is preparing himself for a new challenge when the current season comes to a close.
Paddy Power’s price of 3/1 (4.00) on ‘The Special One’ starting next season in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu seem to underline the feeling that his days are numbered, and he certainly will not be short of suitors should he leave.
Paris Saint-Germain are said to be very keen for Mourinho to make the move to France, where he could well pass Carlo Ancelotti as he makes the reverse journey.
Reports in the French press suggest that the Italian coach has already agreed to take over in Madrid next season, and despite having denied any deal is in place, he is still heavy favourite at 11/8 (2.38) to be in the dugout for the first game of the 2013-14 season.
Although his coaching achievements cannot compete with that of the Champions League-winning former AC Milan boss, Michael Laudrup was revered in the Spanish capital during his playing days, and has caught the eye during his fantastic season in charge of Swansea City.
Having brought major silverware to the club for the first time in its history, he is now available at 9/1 (10.00) to switch one famous white shirt for the other.
In contrast, Rafael Benitez has undergone a tempestuous Premier League season since taking temporary charge at Chelsea, but his stock is still high in his homeland, where the former Valencia boss is remembered as the last man to win La Liga for anyone but the ‘Big Two’.
A former Real Madrid fan, player and coach with a European pedigree that bears comparison to the very best, it would be no great surprise should Benitez return home when his Stamford Bridge nightmare comes to and end, at generous 12/1 (13.00) odds.
Arsene Wenger is another man who has always been popular among the board of los Blancos, and with his popularity waning at Arsenal, 16/1 (17.00) may seem like a decent long shot on him taking the reins in Spain.
A low-key internal appointment would hardly seem in-keeping with the Real Madrid style, so 25/1 (26.00) odds on assistant manager Aitor Karanka stepping up to replace Mourinho are probably best avoided.
However, that is surely more likely than Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone switching allegiances, an eventuality which is available at the same price of 25/1 (26.00).
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.
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