Soccer Football - Champions League - Tottenham Hotspur vs Real Madrid - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - November 1, 2017 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley
  • Zinedine Zidane is facing his first crisis since taking over a year-and-a-half ago
  • Real Madrid are eight points behind Barcelona in La Liga and lost to Tottenham
  • Mauricio Pochettino is seen as the long-term solution by Florentino Perez 

Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as Real Madrid‘s No 1 target to replace Zinedine Zidaneif the French coach fails to last beyond the end of the season.

Madrid also have Harry Kane and Dele Alli on a list of possible summer signings as they look to renew a squad that has become stale after three summers without a ‘galactico’ acquisition.

As the after-effects of Tottenham’s 3-1 win over Real Madrid reverberate throughout the continent, Zidane faces his first crisis since he took over a year and a half ago and Pochettino is seen as the long-term solution.

Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as Real Madrid's No 1 target to replace Zinedine Zidane 
Mauricio Pochettino has emerged as Real Madrid’s No 1 target to replace Zinedine Zidane 
The Argentine clasps hands with his opposite number after Tottenham's 3-1 win at Wembley
The Argentine clasps hands with his opposite number after Tottenham’s 3-1 win at Wembley

Zidane’s Madrid are eight points off the pace in Spain and set to finish second to Spurs in the Champions League group stage.

Real president Florentino Perez has an excellent relationship with Pochettino, referring to him as ‘My Poch’ when the two teams met in Madrid two weeks ago.

‘I have a lot of respect for Florentino,’ Pochettino told Radio Marca. ‘I’m pleased if he feels the same way. He is always friendly towards me.’

Perez went down to the Real dressing room after the team were taken apart by Pochettino’s young guns on Wednesday.

Pochettino would also be a hugely popular choice with supporters who he has got on the right side of in the past with comments that he could never coach Real Madrid’s big rivals Barcelona.

Real boss Zidane is facing his first crisis since replacing Rafa Benitez in January 2016 
Real boss Zidane is facing his first crisis since replacing Rafa Benitez in January 2016  

Despite Zidane winning seven trophies in his 19 months in charge there are questions about his ability to guide the young squad the club has been assembling.

And those doubts intensified after Pochettino taught Zidane a lesson at Wembley.

That young squad would only be improved by the addition of Kane and Alli who hugely impressed the Spaniards. Tottenham would resist any sale and slap huge prices on their two star players.

Of the two players Alli is seen as more open to a move abroad. The key to his future may well rest with who represents him.

Dele Alli scored twice in the game and is coveted by the European champions
Dele Alli scored twice in the game and is coveted by the European champions 

Jorge Mendes is the current frontrunner and although relations between the super agent, who also represents Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Spanish giants are not as close as they once were, Mendes’s presence would still likely help any move.

But Alli’s family – the Hickmans, who have looked after him since he was a young boy – have not ruled out Mino Raiola because he is more open to the idea of taking care of transfers and contracts but leaving them to manage Dele’s day-to-day affairs and PR.

Raiola has historically been persona non grata at Madrid and his appointment would bode less well for any switch to Spain.

Pochettino would be tempted by Real but could also follow the lead of Arsene Wenger. The Arsenal coach has resisted Perez’s advances three times during his two decades in North London.

Credit: Daily Mail

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