All signs point to manager Jose Mourinho leaving Real Madrid at the end of the season, and the club is busy identifying candidates to replace him.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has established a four-point criteria that a potential manager must meet, and two managers — Carlo Ancelotti and Joachim Low – fit the bill, according to Marca.
“There is only one strict condition to the selection process: Florentino Pérez will have the final word in choosing Mou’s [Mourinho's] successor,” the report says. “Right now, Carlo Ancelotti heads up Florentino’s wish-list … This isn’t the first time that Florentino has set his sights on Ancelotti.
“The second on the list is the German national coach, Joachim Low. Madrid already expressed its interest in him a few months ago, during the first drama between Mourinho and the club. Both his attacking philosophy and his record with Germany play in his favor.”
News of Mourinho’s imminent departure broke on Monday, and “The Special One” neither confirmed nor denied the reports. Perez has reportedly soured on Mourinho’s antics, while the manager is frustrated by his lack of influence at the club.
Many will view Mourinho’s loss as a net negative. Perez hopes to soften the blow by bringing another star tactician to the Bernabeu, but he drew up the criteria to make sure there are no repeats of the personality clashes that dotted Mourinho’s time in charge.
“The Madrid president has made it clear that the man who takes over in the dugout at the Bernabeu must meet four conditions,” Marca reports. “He must know how to manage a star-studded dressing room, have experience both in one of the major European leagues and in the Champions League, have proven himself in a high-pressured job and have an easy-going attitude towards the press.”
Ancelotti currently manages French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), but his star-studded team has failed to meet expectations. It sits fourth in the Ligue 1 standings after 15 games, and Ancelotti is under fire. The mega-rich club is reportedly interested in luring Mourino to Paris (along with superstar Cristiano Ronaldo). It’s not inconcievable that Mourinho and Ancelotti could swap places in the near future.
Low has lead Germany’s national team since 2006. His successful tenure has seen Germany reach the final of Euro 2008 and semifinals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2012. He has not publicly spoken of leaving his current job, but a host of top clubs would be interested in hiring him if he ever did. He is under contract through the 2014 World Cup, and it’s unlikely that he will leave before then.
Other names will be linked to the Madrid job in the coming months, but they’ll have to compete with two managerial heavyweights if they are to land the job. If the decision is indeed Perez’s to make, and he favors Low and Ancelotti, perhaps others shouldn’t bother applying for the job.
Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.
Photo via Facebook/Carlo Ancelotti