Marcelo Gallardo among favorites for Real Madrid job if Zinedine Zidane is sacked

Marcelo Gallardo will be among the favorites for the Real Madrid managerial post if current incumbent Zinedine Zidane is removed from his post.

After Wednesday’s 2-1 Copa del Rey defeat to Alcoyano, a club that has not played top football since 1951, the pressure on Zidane has increased further.

According to reports in Argentina, the club hierarchy has identified Gallardo as a potential replacement.

Marcelo Gallardo took over from River Plate in 2014, after leading Club Nacional in Uruguay
Marcelo Gallardo took over from River Plate in 2014, after managing Club Nacional in Uruguay | Pool / Getty Images

The River Plate boss has been in charge of Los Millonarios since June 2014 with some of his most notable accomplishments to date including two Copa Libertadores triumphs in 2015 and 2018.

Los Blancos are currently second in La Liga but are four points behind city rivals Atletico Madrid after appearing two more games. They were beaten by Athletic Club in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup last week.

The claim regarding Florentino Perez’s alleged interest in replacing the Frenchman with Gallardo was made by journalist Maximo Palma on ESPN Argentina and he described the Real Madrid president as “desperate” to make the deal.

He said: “In Madrid, at the moment, they are talking about how Florentino Pérez is desperate to hire Gallardo to replace Zinedine Zidane.”

Gallardo is said to be an excellent tactician and cited Leeds United’s Marcelo Bielsa and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola as two of the biggest influences on his coaching career.

It was reported when Barcelona were looking to replace Ernesto Valverde in 2019 that the Catalan club had considered going after the Argentina manager, but the move to Europe for the 45-year-old never materialized.

Judging by these reports, it appears that despite having won the Champions League as the club’s manager no less than three times, the defending Spanish champions’ patience with “Zizou” is running out.