LOOK­ING LONG-TERM

Soccer 360 - - La Liga -

SAN­TI­AGO SO­LARI HAS A CON­TRACT UN­TIL 2021, BUT HE MIGHT NOT MAKE IT PAST THE SUM­MER. THIS IS, AF­TER ALL, REAL MADRID…

The lengths of man­age­rial con­tracts don’t mean as much at Real Madrid as they do at other clubs, so the fact that San­ti­ago So­lari has a con­tract that runs un­til 2021 isn’t a guar­an­tee that he’ll start next sea­son in the dugout of the Es­ta­dio San­ti­ago Bern­abeu. Of course, he is in an ex­cel­lent po­si­tion to re­main in charge and the col­lec­tion of at least one ma­jor tro­phy in 2018-19 would mas­sively help his cause. But what if Real Madrid de­cide to look else­where?

The dream can­di­date for the Span­ish club is Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino. They have long ad­mired the Tot­ten­ham boss, but were aware that he was unattain­able in the mid­dle of a sea­son and couldn’t go af­ter him in Oc­to­ber. He may even prove to be unattain­able in the sum­mer, but he’d be a per­fect fit due to his track record of work­ing with young play­ers, his rep­u­ta­tion as one of the top tac­ti­cians in the sport and the fact that he has ex­pe­ri­ence of La Liga from his time play­ing and coach­ing at Es­panyol. Arsene Wenger, An­to­nio Conte,

Roberto Martinez and Guti were all also men­tioned as op­tions when it came to re­plac­ing Lopetegui, but for one rea­son or an­other they weren’t pre­ferred to So­lari. For Wenger, he was too late. For Conte, he was seen as too volatile. Martinez was thought to be too un­proven at this level. And Guti was too raw. These per­cep­tions may have changed by the time the sum­mer comes, so they may once again be linked with what is one of the big­gest jobs in football.

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