Mauricio Pochettino is available to take charge at Real Madrid. (Photo by Gustavo Garello/Jam … [+]
Although much of Europe is still in lockdown, the down time that all are experiencing will certainly give football clubs more time to consider their moves in the upcoming transfer market.
The expectation that transfer fees and wages will have to be lowered once things are back to normal clearly isn’t without foundation, and it will be very interesting to see just how much value is shaved off of certain players’ prices.
Of course, it isn’t just the players that will be on the move. The managerial merry-go-round is likely to turn apace again, as those clubs who’ve been unsuccessful in winning silverware look to acquire best-in-class replacements.
Zinedine Zidane will be keeping a close eye over his shoulder as his dream of making Real Madrid a European force again begins to ebb away.
After the Frenchman had decided to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, believing that his work had been completed, Julen Lopetegui was expected to carry on the good work and add to Zidane’s three consecutive Champions League trophies.
A tenure which was nothing short of a disaster was followed by an equally underwhelming period under Santiago Solari.
In Real Madrid’s hour of need, Zidane rode back into town, but his second period at the helm hasn’t had quite the verve or spark of the previous few years.
Indeed, there’s been little of the star quality that came to define his squads performances.
Far too many players have underperformed, and though they were unbeaten for a while in 2019/20, Los Blancos never looked invincible.
At the time of writing, old foes Barcelona have leapfrogged them at the top of the La Liga table, and the destination of the title is now in the Blaugrana’s hands.
Were the status quo to remain, it would mean that Real would only have the Supercopa de Espana to show for their efforts this season, and that simply won’t be good enough for president, Florentino Perez.
There aren’t too many managers around that have the profile to manage at one of the world’s biggest clubs, and those that are, are invariably unavailable.
Mauricio Pochettino has been waiting patiently in the wings ever since Tottenham Hotspur decided to dispense with his services, replacing him with former Real boss, Jose Mourinho.
Things have quickly soured under the Portuguese, whilst ‘Poch’ has been biding his time until the right opportunity came along.
Given that Perez tried to prise the Argentine from Spurs before, but wasn’t willing to accede to the compensation figure set by Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, there’s clearly an interest in his services.
Pochettino himself has previously been quoted as saying he is flattered by such interest, and with the stars maybe aligning right now, they’ll see him on board for the beginning of the 2020/21 season, whenever that may fall.
The way in which he had his Tottenham charges playing was a delight, and that he was able to get them to their first ever Champions League final, despite the eventual defeat, is something of a miracle when one considers the lack of transfer budget he had to play with.
There’ll be no such problems at Real. Even after the current situation has subsided, Florentino Perez will still be wielding the wallet with almost wanton abandon.
Pochettino’s remit will be a simple one too. Trophies. Lots of them. Playing great football as standard.
With the quality of player he will have at his disposal, and with the bravery and nous to remodel the squad for a new era, hoovering up silverware and exciting the fans is unlikely to be a problem.
A potential marriage made in heaven.