Real Madrid are reportedly considering former AS Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim to replace interim coach Santiago Solari on a long-term basis.
Los Blancos must appoint a permanent coach by the end of the upcoming international fixture break, and ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan reported a source close to Jardim has said he's in the frame for the job.
The Portuguese tactician led Monaco to the Ligue 1 crown and UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2017 but was fired in October following a poor start to the season, ending with a run of one win in 11 matches.
Jardim, 44, was born in the Venezuelan city of Barcelona, which could act as a warning to the superstitious.
He holds promise as one who could make the next step to one of the continent's heavyweights, and Corrigan noted the added benefit of his rapport with Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe, to whom he gave his senior debut:
Journalist Gabriele Marcotti backed the former Sporting CP, Braga and Olympiakos boss as a good candidate to take over at Real's helm on permanent terms:
Real have won their last two matches since Solari took over on an interim basis, beating Melilla 4-0 in the Copa del Rey before they defeated Real Valladolid 2-0 in La Liga.
Lopetegui managed Los Blancos for 139 days and was shown the door after losing 5-1 to Barcelona in El Clasico, a defeat that left the club ninth in the league at the time and seven points off leaders Barca.
Jardim had funds to spend during his time on the French Riviera but was also responsible for bringing through a number of young talents at the Stade Louis II. Those include Anthony Martial and Thomas Lemar, as well as Manchester City pair Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva, who was first brought to the club by Jardim just before his 20th birthday.
He won 127 games and lost 55 times in 233 matches managing Monaco, per Transfermarkt, and his work has attracted support in his bid for the Real post:
Despite being something of an understated selection, Jardim could prove valuable to Real in that he's a free agent and perhaps wouldn't demand wages on a par with other, more high-profile candidates.
Former Juventus, Chelsea and Italy coach Antonio Conte was one such contender, but AS recently reported his salary demands were "more than Madrid were intending to pay."