Former Tottenham, Southampton and Espanyol boss has been tipped as the favourite to succeed Zinedine Zidane.

Los Blancos have struggled this season, especially in the Champions league where they suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

This defeat leaves them third in Group B of the Champions league with seven points.

The nature of the close group is that after the next round of fixtures, on matchday six, Madrid could find themselves in a variety of situations. Either top of the group, falling into the Europa league or even out of Europe all together.

Shakhtar Donetsk’s Manor Solomon (C) scores against Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions league fixture. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Defeat on Tuesday night meant Madrid have lost five of their past 16 games, throwing Zizou’s future into doubt.

Pochettino has already been linked to Real Madrid in his time as a manager.

Whilst managing Tottenham Hotspur, Pochettino came very close to the Madrid job, only for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to block it.

If Pochettino was to make a return to management in Spain it is more than Likely it would be with the 34 time league champions.

As an former Espanyol player and manager, earning somewhat of a legend status at the club, Pochettino has distanced himself from the Barcelona job numerous times.

This is because of the rivalry between Barca and Espanyol.

He said in 2017: “I am an Espanyol supporter.

“I don’t think we need to talk to much about Barcelona.”

Pochettino managing Espanyol in 2010. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

Are there any other contenders?

However, it is rumoured that President, Florentino Perez is considering more than just Pochettino.

MARCA in English have reported that Real Madrid legend Raul is in the running, should Zidane be replaced.

Raul, who holds the Real Madrid appearance record with 749 games played, and who previously held the goal-scoring record, is the current Castillia manager.

Castilla is Real Madrid’s B/reserve team and was previously managed by Zidane himself, Raul took the job in 2019.

Raul celebrating scoring in the Champions league for Real Madrid in 2002, in the background – Zinedine Zidane AFP PHOTO/ JAVIER SORIANO. (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite all of this speculation, it remains unlikely that Zidane would be shown the door.

The supporters adore Zidane, due to his vastly successful playing and managerial career with the club.

The Frenchman won six major trophies with the club as a player, as well as, 12 managerial honours so far.

Including three consecutive Champions league victories, a first in the competitions current format.

Real Madrid’s French coach Zinedine Zidane gestures the number three and holds the trophy as he celebrates winning the UEFA Champions League final football match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, on May 26, 2018. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Zidane himself has made it clear he will not resign, despite the club sitting fourth in La Liga, seven points adrift from first place Real Sociedad.

In addition to this, Zidane has not lost the dressing room. The players are still keen to play for him and remain committed to turning their stuttering season around.

The next three fixtures may potentially be defining for Zidane.

Firstly the reigning La Liga champions travel to Sevilla, before a crunch match against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions league that will decide their fate in Europe.

Following they face Atletico Madrid in the Madrid derby, with points, local bragging rights and potential Zidane’s job at stake.

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