Who could replace Zinedine Zidane if he leaves Real Madrid?
Real Madrid going out of the Champions League at the hands of Chelsea in the semi-final is a major disappointment.
Los Blancos could also end the season trophy-free, and it's clear that they are no longer the force they were throughout the 2010s. Aside from Karim Benzema's excellence and the technical grace of their midfield three, their squad operates like an old Alfa Romeo; full of character, but continually breaking down and a bit of a chore.
You can't just replace 11 players and hope for results, however. Signings need to be made, but perhaps under the watch of a new manager. Zinedine Zidane has had his fun across two spells in the hot seat with Los Blancos, but a Champions League exit and potentially surrendering La Liga feels like a good time to chop and change, especially if Juventus or France come calling this summer.
Florentino Perez is also a bit mad and needs something to keep him entertained with the European Super League now off the cards.
Here's who 90min thinks could be considered for the top job, ranked by likelihood of it happening.
8. David Moyes
We never said seriously considered, but think about it, Moysey is on the up.
Give him 12 months in the hot seat, sign Thomas Soucek and Jesse Lingard and let the magic happen. Providing he's improved on his Spanish since his stint with Real Sociedad, that is.
7. Diego Martinez
Fanciful suggestions out of the way, there is a reputation growing around Diego Martinez that has seen him earmarked as one of the brightest coaches in La Liga.
The 40-year-old is working wonders with Granada on a tiny budget, having taken them to the semi-final of the Copa Del Rey in 2019/20, and the quarter final of the 2020/21 Europa League.
Achieving promotion to La Liga in only 2019, Martinez's side are on for back-to-back top-half finishes, thanks to a pressing system that is lethal on the counter.
There are more experienced options, however, meaning Martinez is at the back of the queue... for now.
6. Imanol Alguacil
Keeping it in-house with the Spanish top flight, Los Blancos could consider Imanol, who is impressing with Real Sociedad, having won the delayed Copa del Rey earlier this year
Imanol sets up with a mix of athleticism and technical ability and could use a 4-3-3 with Real. He'd also been getting the best out of Martin Odegaard during his loan spell with the club.
Again, he may fall when pitted against top candidates, but it's a more subtle option.
5. Joachim Low
The Germany boss is a real tough one. Is he actually any good?
On one hand, Low is literally a World Cup winner who is available after the summer. But on the flip side, Germany haven't been very good in recent times, and he hasn't managed club football since 2004.
If Perez is feeling risky, then this is the stab in the dark approach.
See also: Roberto Martinez.
4. Antonio Conte
Perhaps the most underrated head coach in club football, Antonio Conte has worked wonders with Inter.
He's led the Nerazzuri to a Scudetto for the first time since 2010, having only lost it by a point in the 2019/20 season. Conte's Inter are a bullish force that are hard to break down and even harder to out work.
Conte gets the most out of his squads and is extremely passionate. He might fancy a new challenge having won the Scudetto with rumours of issues behind the scenes. Trying to relight a fire among this Madrid squad would certainly keep him occupied.
3. Mauricio Pochettino
He's barely done half a season at Paris Saint-Germain, but having been knocked out of the Champions League and scrapping for the Ligue 1 title, Pochettino's position is surprisingly precarious already. He's also made no secret of his interest in the Bernabeu hot-seat in the past.
The Argentine demands a physical game from his sides, but gets the most out of players and plays attractive football.
There are still questions over his ability at the very top level, but the Madrid job would test his grit and get him away from a PSG squad littered with egos.
2. Massimiliano Allegri
Despite being out of the game since 2019, Allegri continues to be linked with Europe's top jobs.
A return to management is surely on the cards sooner rather than later, and what better way to return than by galvanising Los Blancos once more?
The only issue is that Juventus are seemingly keen to bring him back to the club, so Real Madrid would need to act fast to snap up the Italian.
2001 Ballon d'Or winner and Real Madrid legend Raul has been honing his craft in management in the Castilla setup since 2019.
Madrid hired Zidane through the same process back in 2017, thus the most logical (and cost-effective) appointment would be to replace him in the same fashion.
It is cliché, but he knows the club and has been groomed in the desired management style. It's also cheaper than bringing in a top name from another club, thus a more natural changing of the guard makes sense.