Mauricio Pochettino No. 1 Target to Replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 3, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01:  Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur reacts during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid at Wembley Stadium on November 1, 2017 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Real Madrid have reportedly identified Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino as their top target to replace current boss Zinedine Zidane should the Frenchman need to be replaced before the end of the 2017-18 season. 

According to Pete Jenson in the Daily Mail, the Spanish giants believe the Argentinian is the "long-term solution" to their current problems, while Real are also eyeing moves for Spurs duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli in next summer's transfer market.

Zidane has been in the top job at Real for less than two years but already has back-to-back UEFA Champions League titles in his trophy cabinet and the 2016-17 La Liga.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22:  Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal with Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on October 22, 2017 in L
Stu Forster/Getty Images

However, the new season has started poorly, and Real are already eight points behind leaders Barcelona in the Spanish top flight, while they were outplayed by Spurs in a 3-1 Champions League loss on Wednesday.

Despite his success at the Santiago Bernabeu it is not a huge surprise Zidane's future as Real manager is already being questioned after a poor run of form.

It is also no shock Pochettino, 45, is seemingly the front-runner to take the job should Zidane be ousted.

The former Espanyol defender has impressed in the Premier League with Southampton and Spurs, and he made a significant statement by marshaling the north London outfit's defeat of Real.

Spanish football writer Dermot Corrigan was quick to predict Real's interest in the wake of the performance:

Given the quality of Real's squad, and Zidane's impressive record as manager, it would be a major shock if Los Blancos did not turn around their current form.

However, the turnover of managers at Real has been fairly rapid in recent years, Jose Mourinho's three seasons in charge between 2010 and 2013 is the longest single period of any boss since Vicente del Bosque's spell from 1999 to 2003.

It seems likely the manager's role at Real could be vacant at some point in the near future, and Pochettino could be the man being lined up to fill it. 

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