Real Madrid are reportedly considering a shock swoop for Carlo Ancelotti as they look for a new manager to replace Zinedine Zidane.
The Frenchman ended his second spell in charge at the Bernabeu last week after failing to win a trophy in the 2020-21 campaign.
And all talk is now turning to who his replacement will be, with the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Raul and Antonio Conte among those to be linked with the vacancy.
Ancelotti took charge of Madrid between 2013-15, and in that time won the club’s tenth Champions League title as well as a Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.
He is still highly thought of by the likes of Madrid president Florentino Perez, and was a popular figure among both players and fans during his time in the Spanish capital.
However, it is unlikely that Everton would be willing to let Ancelotti go easily given that his contract runs until 2024, and Madrid may be forced to pay an eye-watering compensation package if they wish to land the 61-year-old.
It is also unclear whether or not Ancelotti would fancy the move, as he may still feel he has unfinished business at Goodison Park following the Toffees’ disappointing finish to the season, which saw them tenth and miss out on European qualification.
Zidane, meanwhile, hit out at the lack of “faith” the Madrid board had in him in an open letter to supporters published on Monday.
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He said: “I’m going, but I’m not jumping overboard, nor am I tired of coaching. In May 2018 I left because after two and a half years, with so many victories and so many trophies, I felt the team needed a new approach to stay at the very highest level.
“Right now, things are different. I’m leaving because I feel the club no longer has the faith in me I need, nor the support to build something in the medium or long term.
“I understand football and I know the demands of a club like Real Madrid. I know when you don’t win, you have to leave. But with this a very important thing has been forgotten, everything I built day-to-day has been forgotten, what I brought to my relationships with the players, with the 150 people who work with and around the team.
“I want there to be respect for what we have achieved together. I would have liked my relationship with the club and the president over the past few months to have been a little different to that of other coaches.”