One of the most surprising managerial stories of the season is emerging as a real possibility now as Real Madrid scramble to replace Julen Lopetegui as soon as possible. Leading candidates throughout this process have been big names such as Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino and even Arsene Wenger but now a left-field candidate has emerged as one of the favourites to take the job
Current Belgium manager Roberto Martinez is now one of the three leading candidates to take one of the biggest jobs in world football and his odds have come crumbling down from 18/1 into 2/1 with some bookmakers.
This would be a remarkable turnaround as Antonio Conte looked set for the job before some senior players such as Sergio Ramos reportedly came out against the Italian’s appointment. Although Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is still well in contention to move from Spurs to Spain, Roberto Martinez is a man who is more readily available for Los Blancos.
Martinez saw his stock rise at the World Cup as he lead a squad packed full of world-class talent to a World Cup semi-final, where they were defeated by eventual champions France. His side did bounce back to secure a third place finish as they beat England in the most pointless game in world football.
A compensation pack would have to be agreed between Real Madrid and the Belgium FA, but the move should be able to be completed relatively simply. Former Real Madrid manager Jorge Valdano believes he would be a decent appointment for Los Blancos.
He told Onda Cero: “[Appointing Martinez] seems the best idea to me. A coach that could turn things around. He seems more adaptable than Conte.
Conte has prestige because he's won in various countries, but Roberto [would] adapt to this team. It's not an easy job because there's no regular goalscorer."