Report: Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino Turned Down Summer Real Madrid Offers

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2018

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04:  Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool greets Mauricio Pochettino, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on February 4, 2018 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Real Madrid reportedly approached several top managers before appointing Julen Lopetegui in the summer, with the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte all turning down Los Blancos.

According to Madrid-based newspaper AS, Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus and Julian Nagelsmann of Hoffenheim also declined a move to the Spanish capital.

It's said Pochettino was the club's first choice, but he signed a contract extension with Spurs in May and was never likely to join. Allegri has already said he turned down Los Blancos, and Klopp never even considered the offer, as he's fully invested in the Liverpool project.

Nagelsmann has a deal in place to join RB Leipzig next season and is just 31 years old, so he would have been an unlikely candidate.

The out-of-work Conte has been strongly linked with the club for some time now, however, and is among the favourites to replace Lopetegui just months after the former national team boss joined:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

Antonio Conte has been approached by representatives of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez over his availability, according to Sky sources. More: https://t.co/v5Fy2bHnEM https://t.co/A7zOpOVTfU

Real have suffered a nightmare start to the 2018-19 campaign and only just ended their winless streak on Tuesday, beating lowly Plzen 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League. They had lost four of their last five previous matches and hadn't beaten anyone since September.

Lopetegui appears on the verge of being sacked and could be out of a job by the end of the weekend, with Los Blancos set to face rivals Barcelona in the first Clasico of the season on Sunday.

As shared by sportswriter Richard Martin, club director Emilio Butragueno didn't give any assurances he'll be around after the Clasico:

Richard Martin @Rich9908

Butragueno says Lopetegui will be in charge for El Clasico despite coach being unsure. Doesn't give much sign that he will be in charge for much longer though https://t.co/nBXBmi9Van

Lopetegui took the job knowing he had massive shoes to fill, as former Real boss ZinedineZidane guided the club to three straight UEFA Champions League titles. No club had ever repeated as European champions since the tournament took on its current form.

He was sacked from the job as Spain's national team boss after Real announced he would be the club's next manager just days before La Roja's first match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.