Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte favourites to replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid

We look at the contenders to become the next Real Madrid manager following Zinedine Zidane’s surprise decision to leave.

The Frenchman has left the Bernabeu on the back of leading the club to a third successive Champions League, beating Liverpool 3-1 in Saturday’s final.

President Florentino Perez will now begin the search for a successor capable of coping with the highest of expectations in club football.

Here is a look at the leading contenders for the position according to Sky Bet’s odds…

Arsene Wenger (11/8 with Sky Bet)

The former Arsenal manager has attracted the early backing, seeing his odds cut from 6/1 since confirmation of Zidane’s departure.

Wenger is available after ending his 22-year tenure with Arsenal, where he was ultimately the victim of his own initial success as he struggled to manage lofty expectations at the Emirates.

In an interesting sub-plot, the France national job was considered the 68-year-old’s most likely next position but he would face fierce competition for the prospective vacancy should Zidane be interested.

Antonio Conte (4/1 with Sky Bet)

On the subject of prospective vacancies, it is widely expected that Conte will leave Chelsea following a turbulent Premier League title defence.

The Italian guided the Blues to glory in his first season in charge but has grown frustrated with the lack of suitable reinforcements required to balance retaining the trophy and competing in the Champions League, ultimately falling short in both competitions.

His stock remains high, however, after winning the FA Cup and will be sought after if, as expected, Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri does replace him at Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino (4/1 with Sky Bet)

The Tottenham manager was considered a 12/1 outsider after recently extending his contract until 2023, but that has not prevented punters from backing him for the vacancy.

Having led Spurs to three successive top-four finishes, the Argentine is one of the most highly-regarded young managers in the game, although he is yet to win a trophy during his stints in charge of Espanyol, Southampton and Spurs.

Guti (7/1 with Sky Bet)

If Perez is keen to promote from within, and indeed turn to another former stylish midfielder, then Guti fits the bill. The academy product represented the club 542 times, winning virtually everything in the game, and is now in charge of the Under-19s.

However, Zidane, who had no managerial experience other than with the Real Madrid B, was very much an anomaly when appointed, breaking a trend of the club turning to experienced options.

Joachim Low (12/1 with Sky Bet)

If the Spanish giants are willing to play the waiting game then the World Cup’s conclusion is sure to supplement their options.

Germany boss Low arguably holds the highest stock of any international manager in the game as he looks to defend the World Cup, aiding his experience of handling hefty aspirations. However, his CV is light in terms of managing at the highest level of club football.

Other options

Following in the betting are Sarri and Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri (both 14/1). Former winger and current Real Madrid B boss Santiago Solari follows at 16/1 in the betting, while Jurgen Klopp (20/1), Diego Simeone and Luis Enrique (both 25/1) are among the longer-priced controversial options.

Source.