Carlo Ancelotti has had a hugely successful second stint as the manager of Real Madrid, having won every possible trophy in the two seasons since he returned.
However, a mere month into the 2023/24 campaign, Los Blancos appear to be preparing for life after the legendary Italian tactician.
After all, Ancelotti’s contract with Real Madrid expires at the end of the ongoing campaign and it has been largely speculated that the manager is likely to take over as the next Brazil head coach.
There have been reports claiming that Ancelotti would be open to continuing at the Santiago Bernabeu if offered a new contract, but at the same time, replacement candidates are being lined up by the club.
Xabi Alonso the favourite option
Several names have been mentioned as potential candidates to replace Ancelotti as the Real Madrid manager next year.
But, according to journalist Rodrigo Faez, it is former midfielder and club legend Xabi Alonso who is the favourite option to take over from Ancelotti next summer.
The 41-year-old is currently the manager of Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, where he has done a sterling job in a short time.
Having taken over at a difficult time last season, Alonso guided Die Werkself to the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League and a top-six finish in the Bundesliga.
Alonso’s good work has continued this season as well, as Leverkusen have won four in four in all competitions and are currently at the top of the Bundesliga standings.
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder has his team play an enterprising, attacking brand of football, and has shown a propensity to back young talents, something that is bound to appeal to the Merengues.
Who else is in the running?
Alonso, though, signed a new contract with Leverkusen this summer, committing his future to the Bundesliga giants until 2026, which could make it tricky to pry him away.
As such, Real Madrid have identified other alternatives as well in the form of two more club legends in Raul Gonzalez and Alvaro Arbeloa, who are currently in charge of Real Madrid’s Castilla and Juvenil A teams, respectively.
French midfielder admits considering PSG move before Real Madrid called him
Aurelien Tchouameni has had an exciting start to his career at Real Madrid. Since joining the club for almost €80 million last summer, the young Frenchman has now become a pivotal figure in Real Madrid’s midfield unit.
However, prior to his move to Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder was closely linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
In a recent interview, Tchouameni opened up on his links to PSG but revealed his decision to join Real Madrid.
Aurelien Tchouameni on PSG links
Talking about speculations linking him to PSG, Tchouameni said (h/t Madrid Zone), “PSG? Frankly, I thought about it. It’s a very big European club, we want the French clubs to succeed.”
“But honestly, when Real Madrid calls you, it’s very complicated to say no,” Tchouameni added.
The midfielder was linked with a move to PSG during his time at AS Monaco. Les Parisiens wanted to sign the youngster as part of their plans to reinforce the midfield unit.
Tchouameni, though, ended up opting for a move to Real Madrid, which turned out to be a prudent decision from the midfielder’s end.
Tchouameni’s career at Real Madrid
Aurelien Tchouameni made a total of 50 competitive appearances during his maiden season at Real Madrid.
Although the Frenchman was not entirely a first-team regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s setup, his stature in the team is expected to grow in the coming years.
Especially as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric move on at the end of the season, there is scope for Tchouameni to become a first-team regular in the Real Madrid midfield in the years to come.
The former AS Monaco starlet has already played a crucial role in the starting eleven so far this season and it is only going to continue as the season progresses.