Sunday, 23 November 2008

Wenger, Scolari & Benitez Top Real Madrid Shortlist

La Liga Champions Real Madrid have put the names of three Premier League manager’s at the top of their list to replace under-fire coach Bernd Schuster at the Bernabeu next summer. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger tops the list followed by Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari and Liverpool’s Rafa Benitez, according to the Sunday Express.

Los Merengues have already tried to lure Wenger (above) away from the Gunners twice, but despite being rebuffed on both occasions by the Frenchman believe they have a better chance next summer. With the North London club faltering in the Premiership and reeling from the effects of ‘Gallasgate’ last week. Real feel that Wenger could be ready to leave the Emirates Stadium for a fresh challenge and have made him their number one target to replace Schuster.

Wenger has always maintained that he will see out his contract at the Gunners, but the Frenchman has not won a trophy since the FA Cup in 2005 and might decide that he has taken Arsenal as far as he can take them and seek one final challenge at the La Liga giants.

Should Real fail in a third attempt to land Wenger as coach then they will turn to former Brazil and Portugal coach Scolari now in charge at Stamford Bridge. Though it is unlikely that Scolari would quit the Blues after just one season at the Premiership club. With the Brazilian already showing his loyalty in seeing out his contracts with Brazil and Portugal, despite being offered other jobs, which included the England manager’s job.

This would leave Benitez, who although committed to the Reds is at a club where the future is uncertain. With the American co-owners suspending work on the new stadium and Benitez being told he must sell before he can buy in January at the Merseyside club. This along with the fact that negotiations on a new deal at Anfield for Benitez have only just started would make third choice Benitez Real’s most realistic target.

However, as with everything a lot can change between now and the summer and while it is possible that anyone of Wenger, Scolari or Benitez could end up at the Spanish Champions. There is also a strong chance that they will all remain where they are.

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