Real Madrid could decide to play the waiting game for Spain manager Julen Lopetegui

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 12 June 2018, 15:07

Another day, another Real Madrid manager rumour, as Julen Lopetegui becomes the latest in a long-list of managers to be linked with Los Blancos.

(It's since been confirmed that Lopetegui will take charge of Real Madrid following the concusion of the World Cup.)

Lopetegui is currently bidding to lead Spain to World Cup glory in Russia, but that hasn’t stopped the Spaniard from being touted as a possible replacement to Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu, with Paddy Power cutting his odds from 11/1 to 7/2, meaning he’s now the second favourite in the betting behind Guti.

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Guti was previously as short as 1/5 to make the step up from the youth team to the senior squad after Murcia president Victor Galvez let slip in a press conference that the former Los Blancos midfielder was set to succeed Zidane.

Five days have since passed and yet there’s been no word on a potential appointment, but while Guti is still odds-on for the job, he’s no longer quite so slim at 5/6.

Eyes have now been refocused on the boss next in the running: Lopetegui.

Two years ago Lopetegui was hotly linked with a move to Wolves, but instead he was unveiled as Vicente del Bosque’s successor at the helm of the Spanish national team.

Fast-forward to the current day and the 51-year-old has yet to lose a game, having accumulated 14 wins and six draws from his 20 matches in charge of La Roja.

Spain waltzed through World Cup qualifying, ammassing 28 points from a possible 30, and they’ve since been placed in Group B, alongside Portugal, Morocco and Iran.

Spain’s World Cup squad features Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Isco, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez who just so happen to play for Real Madrid, and Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda recently stated that they are keen for Lopetugui to make the switch back to club management next season.

Let’s not forget that during his playing days Lopetegui, a former gaolkeeper, previously had a spell at Real Madrid - although he made only one La Liga appearance - while he would later go on and manage the club’s B team, Castilla.

Due to the World Cup, Real Madrid are now likely to have to play the waiting game if they are actually keen on hiring Lopetegui as their new manager, but whether the notoriously impatient Spanish giants have got the patience for this is open to debate.

Other names in the frame include Chelsea boss Antonio Conte (8/1) and Andre Villas-Boas (10/1), while Arsene Wenger is priced at 14/1.

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