Alvaro Arbeloa leapfrogs Raul as a serious contender to succeed Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid… but the former defender could be made No 2 alongside Jose Mourinho in a move that could SPLIT fans down the middle
- Carlo Ancelotti is under contract at the Bernabeu until the end of 2023-24
- A plan to reinstate Jose Mourinho was leaked to gauge reaction from supporters
- Ancelotti was unable to hide his delight at interest from Brazil’s national team
Real Madrid’s Under 18s coach Alvaro Arbeloa has jumped ahead of the B-team manager Raul as a serious candidate for next season if Carlo Ancelotti does move on, but there’s a twist — one idea under consideration is to make him No 2 alongside a returning Jose Mourinho.
The plan was leaked to gauge reaction this week. Arbeloa was Mourinho’s most loyal player during his last stint in charge.
Such a move would split the club’s support down the middle, which doesn’t necessarily preclude it happening.
If he is overlooked, Raul will seek out a foreign challenge, and having previously been sounded out by Leeds, the Premier League could be his destination.
The former right-back spent 12 years at the Santiago Bernabeu, and has been a coach in the club’s youth system since 2020, taking charge in 2022.
Alvaro Arbeloa (above) has leapfrogged Real Madrid icon Raul Gonzalez in the race to succeed Carlo Ancelotti, who is strongly linked with a move away from the Bernabeu this summer
Raul leads Real Madrid’s B team but appears to have fallen behind Arbeloa in the pecking order
A return for Jose Mourinho was leaked to supporters earlier in the week to gauge their reaction
And Arbeloa has a strong record in the dugout, with his side winning six of their eight matches in the UEFA Youth League, losing just once to AZ Alkmaar in a heavy 4-0 defeat.
Ancelotti’s future at the Bernabeu is far from certain, despite the Italian already having great success in his second spell at the club.
Despite seemingly being set to lose the LaLiga race to arch-nemesis Barcelona this season, his side are in the final of the Copa Del Rey and the last-eight of the Champions League.
Ancelotti has already lifted the Champions League, LaLiga and Spanish Super Cup last term.
He is under contract until the end of next season, but he ruled out retirement should he leave the Spanish capital and has already been linked with other jobs, including a move to the Brazilian national team.
‘No (I don’t plan to retire). Let’s see,’ said Ancelotti. ‘I am very excited that Brazil wants me, but I have to respect the contract with Madrid, which I want to fulfil.
‘If the President of the CBF wants to talk to me, I would love to meet him and greet him.’
The 63-year-old’s comments come in the wake of Brazilian FA president Ednaldo Rodrigues declaring his admiration of Ancelotti’s management style.
Ancelotti has enjoyed success since returning to the dugout at Madrid but his future is unclear
Ancelotti (L) explained he would like to speak to Brazilian FA president Ednaldo Rodrigues (R)
Rodrigues confirmed that the Real Madrid chief is the obvious choice given his work with Brazilian players Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo at the Santiago Bernabeu.
‘I really admire him for his honesty in the way he works and how constant his work is. He needs no introductions,’ he told Reuters.
‘He is really a top coach who has several achievements and we hope he can have even more.
‘Ancelotti is not only the players’ favourite but it seems the fans’ too. Everywhere I go in Brazil, in every stadium, he is the first name the supporters ask me about.’