Following the benching of Iker Casillas and the subsequent loss to Malaga, the position of José Mourinho at Real Madrid seems compromised. Following the game, 90 percent of Bleacher Report readers who participated in a poll on Mourinho’s continuity at Madrid thought he won’t be coaching Los Blancos next season.
After asking yesterday where the Portuguese coach might be headed next, today it is time to answer the question that will probably have Merengues across the world worried: Who will replace Mourinho at the helm of Real Madrid?
With a number of top European clubs having serious doubts about maintaining their coaches, it is likely that 2013 will see a merry-go-round of coaches switching from one big team to another. Here are five coaches who may well end up leading the current Spanish champions next season.
German national team coach Joachim Löw is rumored to be Madrid President Florentino Perez’s first choice. “Jogi” took over the Mannschaft in 2006 after the World Cup that was held on German soil.
Since then, he has imposed a philosophy on the German team of quick passing and attacking play that has gained him admirers from across the world. Although Germany fell short of success in Euro 2008 and 2012, as well as World Cup 2010, they won praise for showcasing a new generation of players playing attractive football.
Recently questioned about his potential interest in coaching Real Madrid at a press conference, Löw answered:
"I do not care about the rumours. This is just speculation, Jose Mourinho has a contract until 2016. I have a contract until 2014."
The question does remain, though, if Mourinho is no longer there and his first objection isn't an issue anymore, will he give up the chance to win a World Cup with Germany?
Carlo Ancelotti is one of the highest-rated managers in club football. Having successfully coached a Milan side to two European Cups in 2003 and 2007, he has the credentials to take Madrid back to the pinnacle of continental football. Among his successes as a manager is also the historic double he won for Chelsea, delivering the Premier League and FA Cup in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge.
“Carletto” is currently the manager at Paris Saint Germain; however, the fact is that Qatari owners are not too happy with the domestic form PSG has been in since he has taken over. With PSG having expressed their interest in signing Jose Mourinho, a swap between both clubs is not entirely off the cards.
Many would think Fabio Capello would be mad to return to Real Madrid as coach. He has had two spells in charge of Los Blancos only to be sacked both times after just one season. This might not be surprising considering the expectations Madrid owners and fans have for delivering titles. The twist is that he won the league with Madrid. Both times. And still got sacked.
But then, Capello may be a little bit mad, and not just based on this photo. In recent years, he switched to international management and has coached the England national side to the 2010 World Cup and is now in charge of Russia. However, a third spell at Real Madrid, although unlikely, could lure Capello back to the intensity of club football.
Currently in his 16th year in charge of Arsenal, Arsène Wenger knows he won’t stay at the club forever. More worryingly, perhaps, is that the fans know that as well.
Support for Wenger has been strained. Unless Arsenal can capture an unlikely Champions League win, or an even less likely Premier League challenge, this will be the seventh year without at a trophy in the red and white side of North London.
Rumors have emerged of Arsène being a Real Madrid target should he leave Arsenal. Although he has adamantly refused a number of offers from big clubs in recent years, this may be the first season in a long time there is a genuine chance that he will part ways with the Gunners.
Rafael Benitez is another coach that has the European credentials that will tempt Real Madrid in offering him the manager position at the club. Having won the Champions League with both Valencia and Liverpool, Florentino Perez might bet on Rafa returning the much-wanted European Cup to the Real Madrid trophy room.
Although Benitez has recently signed for Chelsea, his contract only extends to the end of this season. Roman Abramovich is most likely to look for a new name to put in charge at Stamford Bridge, meaning Benitez will most likely be looking for a club. And if Mourinho decides to go back to coach the Blues (and if Pep Guardiola turns down Abramovich’s advances), a manager swap might even be a possibility.