Real Madrid coaching candidates: With Solari expected to be replaced, Zidane and Mourinho linked to the job

To say last week was rough for Real Madrid would be quite the understatement. The club was knocked out of the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, lost twice to rival Barcelona and even saw star youngster Vinicius Junior injury his knee. The rough week also included Real being pretty much eliminated from contention in La Liga, and at a club with such a short leash for coaches, it's time to really wonder if Santiago Solari will be in charge for much longer.

ESPNFC reports that Solari has lost the support of the club and that the team has already considered who could replace him. 

Solari's appointment in October came after just 14 matches with Julen Lopetegui. Solari has coached in 31 matches, and his winning percentage of 67.7 is much better than Lopetegui's 42.9. In fact, his winning percentage is much closer to that of Zinedine Zidane (69.8) than that of Lopetegui. But the failure to win the most important matches, and not having a natural replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, has put Solari in a tough spot. But who could they turn to as their next coach?

The most likely scenario is to have someone take over for the rest of the season and find their permanent, new coach in the summer. Trying to make the full hire now would put them at a disadvantage because various candidates have a job and are in the middle of their season. Ahead of Real's game on Sunday against Real Valladolid, which you can watch on fuboTV (Try for free), here are the coaches that they'll likely consider:

Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham

He's worked wonders at Tottenham and has turned them into a stable, top-four club every year. He's got a great eye for talent and a system that moves the ball around quickly to create space and chances. He has experience in La Liga with Espanyol, speaks Spanish as he's from Argentina and is a likely top choice. But he's also been linked with Manchester United.

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool

Klopp makes sense for a lot of reasons, one being he knows how to turn things around. He has gotten Liverpool to a handful of finals, though they haven't won any of them. Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world, but Real is the biggest. Klopp seems more than comfortable in England, but it would be hard to ignore the allure of Real Madrid. 

Joachim Low, Germany

Here's a guy whose reputation took a big hit just four years after winning the World Cup. Germany's disaster performance at the 2018 World Cup raised a lot of questions, but this was a team that simply went on a run of failing to score, and it wasn't because a lack of chances or trying. He's been in the national team side of things for so long, so who knows if he would even like to make the leap to club ball, especially at a job with so much pressure. But he's an intriguing coach who has a proven track record. 

Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus

Some oddsmakers have linked Allegri to the job, and that isn't a surprise because it's one of the biggest coaches at one of the biggest jobs. But he's got things going at Juventus. They win Serie A every year, and they are always in contention for the Champions League. Having Cristiano Ronaldo is the key here. Why would he go to a team with a much weaker roster and leave a team loaded with the likes of Ronaldo, Miralem Pjanic, Paulo Dybala and others? 

Zidane

Would he really return when things are worse off than when he left? After saying his Real Madrid had reached the end of his cycle, could he come back to try and right the ship of the club that saw him become a legend of the game? This is an aging roster that needs serious work to contend for the biggest of prizes for years to come. He would easily rejuvenate things but would likely need to bring in a couple big-name guys like Eden Hazard and Mauro Icardi to really push Barcelona. You can't deny the results though, and after all he did coach for three seasons and won the Champions League each time. 

Jose Mourinho

Talk about a stunning return -- this would certainly be it. The Portuguese coach had his horror stint at Manchester United end earlier this season, and he wasn't able to win the big one at Real Madrid. He's such an opinionated coach who seems to at times clash with players, so having more of a player's coach to win the locker room over probably makes more sense. He'd want to spend big like he did at United, but this just doesn't feel like the right fit nor the right time. 

For news, stories, results and more, follow us:

- @CBSSportsSoccer - @RGonzalezCBS - Facebook

CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories