Manchester United are interested in securing the services of potential Louis van Gaal replacement Carlo Ancelotti if the Italian coach leaves Real Madrid.
This is according to the Metro, who cite sources in Spain as claiming Real Madrid have started the hunt to find an Ancelotti replacement following the reigning European champions’ poor start to 2015.
Real Madrid suffered back-to-back defeats against Valencia and Atletico Madrid - in La Liga and the Copa del Rey, respectively - at the turn of the year, drew with local rivals Atletico at the Bernabeu in mid-January, and suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat to Diego Simeone’s side in the league last Saturday.
Real Madrid humbled
That was Real Madrid’s heaviest defeat since their infamous 5-0 defeat to Barcelona under Jose Mourinho back in November 2010.
Ancelotti’s side remain top of the Spanish league table, a point clear of second-placed Barcelona, but Real Madrid may still opt to replace the former AC Milan and Chelsea head coach who is reportedly wanted by the Red Devils.
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Ancelotti - a safe pair of hands
United are understood to have doubts over Van Gaal, whose side have performed poorly all season, and regard Ancelotti as a safe pair of hands.
The 55-year-old is one of the most successful coaches of his era, winning three Champions League titles - two with AC Milan and one with Real Madrid - plus multiple league titles in France, England and Italy.
Ancelotti won the Premier League and FA Cup double during his two years with Chelsea - but was sacked by the club’s owner Roman Abramovich for failing to win the title in his second season.
Van Gaal struggling as United manager
Van Gaal, meanwhile, has failed to deliver the entertaining, attack-minded football that his appointment promised.
His Manchester United side currently sit third in the Premier League table, 12 points off league-leaders Chelsea, following Wednesday night’s unconvincing 3-1 win over Burnley at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal admitted United’s victory over the Clarets was not a good performance - and the Red Devils’ faithful, to a man, would be inclined to agree.
Fans bored and frustrated
The number of entertaining performances Manchester United have produced under Van Gaal can be counted on the fingers of one hand - despite the fact the 20-time English champions spent £150 million on some supposedly world-class talent last summer.
Van Gaal is failing to get the best out of players such as Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao - while his defence has often looked shambolic at times this season.
Ultimately, however, Van Gaal will be judged on whether or not Manchester United secure a top-four finish. But with the likes of Southampton, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool breathing down their necks, the Red Devils could easily miss out on a place in Europe’s premier club competition for a second successive season.
Would Carlo Ancelotti be the best possible replacement for Louis van Gaal at Manchester United? Give us your suggestions for potential alternatives in the comments below.