Zinedine Zidane could leave Real Madrid at the end of the season after struggling to replicate the incredible success he enjoyed during his first spell in charge. Meanwhile, Los Blancos legend Raul and long-serving Germany coach Joachim Low are two names being discussed as a possible replacement.
After winning three Champions League titles in just two-and-a-half years when he was initially handed control in 2016, Zidane opted to step down soon after the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool, stating his belief that the squad needed a fresh direction to remain successful.
Real didn’t achieve that in his absence, soon sacking both Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, before persuading Zidane to return to the Bernabeu less than 10 months after he left.
Barcelona’s collapse made it possible for Real to win La Liga under Zidane in 2019/20, but this season has been a poor one by the club’s extremely high standards and the French coach has regularly deflected questions about his future.
With rebuilding Real perhaps too much of a challenge, Zidane has potential interest from France and former club Juventus. French federation president Noel Le Graet has publicly admitted that he would immediately call the 1998 World Cup winner should Didier Deschamps leave his position, while Juve have been heavily linked with rookie incumbent Andrea Pirlo under pressure.
If Madrid find themselves in need of a new head coach this summer, AS writes that Raul or Low are the likely names in the frame at this stage.
Since winding down his glittering playing career with Schalke, Al-Sadd and New York Cosmos, Raul has been back home with Real in recent years and was placed in charge of Castilla in 2019. His team is having a fine season and promoting from within was the same path that brought Zidane in.
Low, meanwhile, will step down from his role as Germany boss after the summer’s delayed European Championship, making him available for next season. The 61-year-old has been in charge of Germany since 2006 and won the World Cup in 2014 after overseeing a national rebuild.
Low has worked with numerous elite players in his role with Germany, although he hasn’t worked at club level since 2004 and has never coached an elite club team.