Following the news that Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as Real Madrid manager, there are strong rumours in Spain that former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is the favourite to become the new Bernabeu coach.
Following Zidane’s departure, bookmakers believe it is Wenger who is most likely to take over from his countryman after that wildly successful two-and-a-half years in charge, Metro UK reports.
Bear in mind that earlier this month, Wenger had revealed that he turned down the advances of Real Madrid “two or three times” during his tenure at Arsenal.
The former Arsenal gaffer, who has close ties with Real Madrid President Florentino Perez had told beIN sports that “Real Madrid, I think I turned them down two or three times. They are one of the teams I loved as a kid but I felt it was a very sensitive period for Arsenal.”
“When we built the (Emirates) stadium, the banks asked me to commit for five years. The first time, it was inside the five years and I thought ‘I cannot do that’, it would be betraying my club.”
“You are always tempted to go to Real Madrid because they offered me the chance to take control of the whole club.”
“At the end of the day, I said no once, twice. I turned so many clubs down you could believe it. At the end of the day, I was happy where I was as well.”
With Wenger now available and suggesting he wants to continue working in the game at the age of 68, his appointment may be viewed by Perez as the perfect stop gap with some of the likely contenders for the job seemingly unavailable.
Wenger is just 5/2 to be the next Real Madrid manager while Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is also thought to be in the frame (3/1) despite having signed a new five-year contract with Spurs last week.
Real Madrid youth team coach Guti (11/2), Chelsea boss Antonio Conte (7/1) and Germany manager Joachim Loew (7/1) are also in the running.
The bookies are also not ruling out the likes of Max Allegri (16/1), Diego Simeone (22/1) and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (22/1).