Leonardo Jardim might not be out of a job for too much longer.
Real Madrid is considering hiring the former AS Monaco manager as their permanent first team coach, a source close to Jardim told Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC.
Los Blancos have been on the lookout for a permanent replacement for Julen Lopetegui, who was relieved of his duties at the Santiago Bernabeu after just 139 days since his appointment last summer. The club has to either confirm interim coach Santiago Solari as manager until the end of the season or hire a permanent replacement before the upcoming international break concludes.
Jardim has been out of a job since October when he was relieved of his duties following Monaco’s poor start to the campaign. Prior to this season, the 44-year-old was regarded as one of the top managers in European football.
The Portuguese manager led Monaco to the Ligue 1 title in 2017 and has received plenty of credit for his part in the development of several of the club’s young stars like Kylian Mbappe, Thomas Lemar, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy, and others.
A majority of Monaco’s stars were later sold for significant transfer fees in the two summers that followed the team’s breakout 2016-17 campaign. Monaco’s struggles have continued under new manager Thierry Henry, who remains winless through his first four matches in charge.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid have won their last two matches since Lopetegui was sacked in the wake of a 5-1 loss against Barcelona.
Solari previously coached the club’s youth squad before being named interim manager. However, it appears that Real Madrid is in favor of appointing a manager with more experience, even though former gaffer Zinedine Zidane guided the Spanish side to three consecutive Champions League titles despite having no prior experience managing a senior squad.
Former Chelsea and Juventus boss Antonio Conte, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, and Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino have previously been linked with the vacancy at Real Madrid.