Real Madrid: Jorge Jesus emerges as surprise contender

Italian daily Corriere dello Sport has thrown the name of the Sporting Lisbon coach into the hat to replace Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabéu.

The list of possible substitutes to replace Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid has been thinning out in recent days with Germany boss Joachim Löw distancing himself from the post and the prospect of Mauricio Pochettino leaving Tottenham appearing increasingly remote.

Real are eager to find a replacement for the treble European champion as swiftly as possible and on Monday Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport reported that Sporting Lisbon tactician Jorge Jesus has emerged as a surprise candidate to fill the vacancy.

Jesus has enjoyed plenty of success in Primeira Liga, winning three league titles, one Taça de Portugal and five Taça de Ligas with Benfica before crossing the capital to bitter rivals Sporting, where he added another Taça de Liga to his trophy haul.

Jesus and Sporting at loggerheads

Sporting have been thrown into an institutional crisis in recent weeks, with players threatening to strike due to the coach’s differences with the board and subsequently being attacked by around 50 ultras during a training session after missing out on the Champions League next season after finishing third in the league. Jesus said afterwards that he suspected Sporting president Bruno Carvalho was behind the incident.

Under the circumstances, it is likely Jesus, who is under contract at the Estádio José Alvalade until 2019, is eyeing the exit door and the 63-year-old former midfielder may find himself on the list of potential candidates to replace Zidane given the difficulties Florentino Pérez is encountering with courting his initial short-list of managers.