Why Carlo Ancelotti Is Looking Like the Next Real Madrid Manager

Samuel Marsden@@samuelmarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2013

PARIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 27:  PSG Manager, Carlo Ancelotti sits on the bench prior to the French Cup match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Marseille Olympic OM at Parc des Princes on February 27, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

"It's quite simple really. He has a contract."

The words of Real Madrid's director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueño on Monday evening at the Marca awards ceremony in the Spanish capital.

He was answering a question posed about Jose Mourinho and the Portuguese coach's future—Butragueño was collecting an award on his behalf.

Things reached a pivotal moment in January when the front cover of Marca claimed Sergio Ramos had said to president Florentino Perez "in June it's Mou or us."

Perez called a press conference to deny the story, although Casillas' partner Sara Carbonero—a journalist in Madrid—a few days later claimed it was common knowledge that there was a lack of harmony between the senior players and their boss (via Marca).

Since then speculation over Mourinho's future has ensued—it was present before this though, as the 50-year-old has never been one to stay in a job for a sustained period.

Recent wins over Barcelona and Manchester United seem to have galvanized not only the squad, but Los Blancos' season too, although it is still expected—providing he has an exit strategy—that Mourinho will move on.

Prior to Christmas, Joachim Low—the German national team manager—topped a poll of Madrid fans on who they would like to be their next manager. Jurgen Klopp was expected to be in the running too.

Klopp now appears a no-go, the Borussia Dortmund boss said to be excited at the prospect of doing battle with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich while Low has fallen out of favor with fans and bookmakers, replaced by Carlo Ancelotti.

Little over a month ago Le Parisien (via The Mirror) reported that the PSG manager has already agreed a deal to take over the top job at the Bernabeu this summer.

Speaking to the newspaper a source lose to the Italian said "it's a verbal deal that has been agreed with Real Madrid. Both parties have said that they want to work together next season."

The 53-year-old was quick to dismiss the rumor, when questioned on it he answered "it is not true."

But of course he would, PSG are still fighting to win the French title and have drawn a plum draw against Barcelona in the Champions League. Meanwhile, further south in Spain, Madrid are still competing for cups domestically and in Europe.

Little has been said since this burst of speculation in late February, but there is an eeriness in the silence which has followed it.

Marca and AS are no longer running polls and stories as quickly as they once were on the future of Mourinho and his possible successors. This could mean that they're content with him once more, or simply that out of respect to Perez they're remaining tight-lipped with the Ancelotti deal done.

His contract at PSG expires at the end of this season and—although there's an automatic one-year renewal if they finish in the top three—it's far from preposterous to suggest that we could be seeing one of the highest-profile job swaps taking place this summer.