Talk Sport

‘Mauricio Pochettino is the right fit for Real Madrid, but club president wants Jose Mourinho’, claims Ramon Calderon on talkSPORT

Mauricio Pochettino would be the perfect fit as Real Madrid’s next manager, but club president Florentino Perez would prefer Jose Mourinho to return and take over at the Bernabeu.

That’s the verdict of former Real chief Ramon Calderon, who joined talkSPORT on Tuesday to give an interesting take on the club’s hunt for their new head coach, with Antonio Conte and Roberto Martinez also linked.

He also claims the Spanish giants have been in contract with Mourinho about a possible return ‘over the last few years’.

Real Madrid are without a manager following the decision to sack Julen Lopetegui on Monday after just four and half months – 14 matches – in charge.

Los Blancos’ form has been wretched under the former Spain boss – winning just one game from their last seven in all competitions.

Real Madrid suffered an humiliating defeat to Barcelona on Sunday

The European champions are five league games without a victory, leaving them ninth in LaLiga, and Sunday’s 5-1 El Clasico defeat to Barcelona was the final nail on Lopetegui’s coffin – but Calderon believes the club were ‘unwise’ to axe the boss so soon into his reign.

Real’s biggest problem has not been their manager, Calderon says, but their decision to allow Cristiano Ronaldo to leave and their failure to replace him.

A host of top bosses have been linked with the job but, as Calderon points out, the majority of them are currently under contract with other clubs.

Recent reports claim Pochettino is Real Madrid’s top choice for the now-vacant role and are hoping to appoint the Argentine by the end of November, with Castilla boss Santiago Solari taking over as interim coach.

But Calderon believes Perez is still a big fan of Mourinho and would ideally want the Portuguese to come back for a second spell in charge.

Asked if Pochettino would be a good fit for the Bernabeu job, he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “For sure, he’s proving that at Tottenham, but he has a contract in force at Tottenham and I think he’s willing to stay there.

Pochettino is likely to stay at Tottenham, believes Calderon

“He is one of those coaches any big team would like to have on their side.

“[But] I’m sure the president is thinking of Mourinho, he is always the coach he would like to have at Real, but he’s with Man United now.

“Mourinho is the only coach Perez has respected up to now. He gave him all the power for the first time in his life, which was very unusual.

“It’s true that he’s been in touch with Jose in the last few years trying to bring him here again, but being with Man United I think now it’s not possible.

“If he leaves Manchester United I’m sure he’ll be here again.”

Mourinho has been frustrated at Man United this season – could he be tempted back to Real Madrid?

Former Chelsea boss Conte and Belgian national coach Martinez have also been linked with the role, although Calderon believes the Real Madrid will struggle to appoint a top boss this time around due to their interfering president, Perez.

He claims the chief has already put a number of high profile managers off the job as he refuses to relinquish his influence over team decisions and signings.

“It’s difficult to find a coach of the right level for Real Madrid because there are no top level coaches on the market,” the 67-year-old told talkSPORT.

“The only one is Conte and he’s asked for a longer term of three years and to have his hands free with signings, but that’s not something the president is willing to give him.

“I think Roberto Martinez would be a good one but he’s under contract with the Belgian team.

Roberto Martinez and Antonio Conte are also said to be in the running

“Lopetegui should have thought why Zidane left and why up to five important coaches decided not to come – they know the president is going to interfere too much with the decisions of the line-ups and the signings, and that’s going to be a problem to find a new coach.”

On Lopetegui’s sacking and the problems Real Madrid are facing this season – despite boasting eight Ballon d’Or nominees in their squad – Calderon added: “I think the decision to sack Lopetegui after only two months of the competition was very unwise.

“It’s true the 5-1 defeat to Barcelona was very tough for the fans, but I think it would have been wiser to keep the coach for a few matches more to see what happens.

“The main problem has been letting Ronaldo go, he was giving us 50 goals a season and we haven’t signed another one to replace him, that’s been the real trouble.”

Listen back to talkSPORT’s interview with Ramon Calderon IN FULL above!

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FootballIndex Futures

Real Madrid want Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager by the end of next month. The Spanish giants sacked Julen Lopetegui after just four and a half months in charge on Monday. (Sun)

Real Madrid want Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager by the end of next month. The Spanish giants sacked Julen Lopetegui after just four and a half months in charge on Monday. (Sun)

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Talk Sport

Mauricio Pochettino to Real Madrid: Tottenham manager should consider La Liga switch, says Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce believes Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino should seriously consider interest from Real Madrid to become their new manager, telling talkSPORT: ‘A job like this doesn’t come around very often’.

Real Madrid are reportedly keen to make Mauricio Pochettino their new manager

Newspaper reports on Friday have claimed the Spanish giants will make another move to bring the Argentine to the Bernabeu as they look set to sack under-fire coach Julen Lopetegui.

Pochettino turned down a job offer from Real in the summer, but The Sun report the Spurs boss is still the number one target for Los Blancos chiefs as they search for their new man.

Spurs have made their best start to a Premier League season but, despite making no new signings over the summer, the continued delays with their new stadium and the fact the team have not won a game in the Champions League, Pochettino has not complained.

There are no questions over his commitment to the club or his long-term plans for Spurs, but Allardyce believes the Real Madrid job is too big to turn down twice.

Tottenham boss Pochettino has also been linked with the Manchester United job

Speaking on Friday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former England boss said: “We all live on the edge as managers now because we’re only five or six games from the sack, even Mauricio.

“We saw it with Juande Ramos years ago when he won a trophy and then Spurs took two points from their first six or seven games the next season and boom, he was gone, and Harry Redknapp was in.

“It’s going to be the same for Mauricio, if he loses football matches then people will turn on him very quickly.

“So when you’ve got an opportunity to manager Real Madrid, if he really wants to do it… but does he really want it?

“[The] Real Madrid [job] doesn’t come around very often and I think if you’re an ambitious manager you have to look after yourself and your family and say, this is what I want, can I get it?”

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Manager Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham will look to make signings in January, having not made any during the summer. (Enfield Independent)

Manager Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham will look to make signings in January, having not made any during the summer. (Enfield Independent)

Tottenham have extended their loan for their new stadium by £100m to £500m to cover the costs of delays. (Mail on Sunday)

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Guillem Balague: Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs

OK, OK, we were secretly hoping that FootballINDEX‘s latest recruit, Guillem Balague would make an appearance at the London Trader meet last Friday but unfortunately this was not to be the case.

Guillem is going to be a great addition to the FI family. The man boasts 1M+ followers on Twitter and it’s hardly surprising given he is an incredibly popular and talented football journalist and pundit. Guillem is a regular on SkySports Revista de la Liga and has also written for some of Britain’s top newspapers as well as several Spanish newspapers.

Guillem has recently written the Sunday Times Best Selling Book “Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs” which is a truly fascinating read. Balagué was granted unprecedented access to Pochettino and his backroom staff for the duration of the 2016-17 season, and was therefore able to draw on extensive interview material with Pochettino, his family, his closest assistants, players such as Dele Alli and Harry Kane, and even a very rare conversation with Daniel Levy to tell the manager’s story in his own words. From Pochettino’s early years as a player and coach to his transformation of Tottenham into one of the best teams in England, the book uniquely reveals the inner workings of the man and of his footballing philosophy. It also lays bare what it takes to run a modern-day football team competing at the highest level over the course of a single campaign. The result is the most comprehensive and compelling portrait of a manager and of a club in the Premier League era.

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