Five candidates to replace Julen Lopetegui as Real Madrid boss

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Real Madrid are on the hunt for another head coach after sacking Julen Lopetegui, just a few months after hiring him in the first place.

The former Spain coach has been dismissed after just 14 games in charge, the last of which saw Real thrashed 5-1 by Barcelona in El Clasico on Sunday.

A hat-trick from Luis Suarez, and goals from Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal gave Barca the vital win, even without injured Lionel Messi.

For Madrid, that was the final straw, and the decision was made to sack the former Spain manager.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at a quintet of early candidates in the frame to take on the challenge of one of the top jobs in world football.

Antonio Conte

A title winner in Italy and England, the 49-year-old left Chelsea under a cloud over the summer following a disappointing 2017-18 campaign.

A chance to move to a club with the stature of Real would suit the former Italy boss, while Conte has the character to deal with the pressure at the Bernabeu and is one of the early front-runners with the bookmakers following the decision to part company with Lopetegui.

Santiago Solari

The man who has been placed in temporary charge.

Real have shown a tendency to promote from within and their former midfielder and now reserve coach could follow in the footsteps of Zinedine Zidane, who stepped up to take the reins of the senior side midway through the 2015-16 season and guided them to three successive Champions League titles before standing down earlier this year.

Real Madrid CF v SL Benfica - UEFA Youth League

Solari played 131 times for Real, winning two LaLiga titles and one Champions League crown.

Arsene Wenger

The Frenchman ended his 22-year tenure as Arsenal boss at the end of the season and is a long-term target of Real president Florentino Perez.

The 68-year-old has claimed for years that he turned down many big clubs to stay loyal to the Gunners, but now has the freedom to listen to such offers.

He has struggled to compete at the business-end of the Premier League and in Europe in recent years, but could be seen as an ideal short-term solution.



A true Real Madrid man, the former playmaker won five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues during a career which included almost 550 appearances for Los Merengues.

The 41-year-old coached the youth teams at the club for several years following the end of his playing career, but left the club in the summer to become Senol Gunes’ assistant at former club Besiktas.

He would be a favourable appointment with Real supporters, even if he lacks big-game experience as a boss.

Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League

The Argentinian has been linked with the Real top job for some time, but signed a new deal at Tottenham earlier this year.

Pochettino is yet to win a major trophy, which could work against him, but the former Espanyol boss has been praised for his approach and for promoting young talent.

He made suggestions towards the end of last season that he could depart Tottenham, but his fresh five-year deal makes that unlikely given just how much compensation Real would have to pay.

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