Some managers might see it as offensive when they are the second or third choice for a job and outright reject overtures. There are some jobs that are harder to turn down though. Julen Lopetegui did not think twice when he was called by Real Madrid despite the fact that he was just days away from leading Spain at the World Cup or that he had just signed a new deal with the Spanish football federation. It didn't bother Lopetegui that he was not the first choice as Florentino Perez searched for a Zidane replacement after the Frenchman's bombshell. The Real Madrid president contacted Pochecttino first, then Allegri, Conte, possibly Klopp and Nagelsmann. Most of these managers have openly admitted that Real Madrid contacted them in the wake of Zidane's departure...
He was Perez' first choice but he had just renewed with Tottenham Hotspur as it looked like Zidane would remain in charge after winning the Champions League for the third time in a row. Daniel Levy, a tough negotiator at the best of times, who twisted Perez' arms over Modric and Bale's arrivals, was never going to let his manager leave and Real Madrid had to remove his name from the potential managers list. "At the moment, I am happy with what I am doing and we will see what happens," said Pochettino as he fell to the wayside as an option.
He will end up coaching Ronaldo, but at Juventus. Florentino Perez wanted him at Real Madrid after a number of years of solid work at the Italian club. He has achieved two finals of the Champions League and has Juve in a dominant position in Serie A. "More than saying 'No' to Madrid, I said 'Yes' to Juve. I spoke to Florentino but I turned him down. It was a decision I had already made to stay," he said.
The Italian remained tight-lipped as he did not want it to be revealed Real Madrid spoke to him about the job. In England, however, is was reported that los Blancos has been in touch with the then Chelsea coach. He turned the offer down in order to receieve compensation from Chelsea, which he would have missed out on had he left for a new club and he was eventually sacked by the Premier League club. Madrid had taken note of the work Conte did with Italy and Juventus.
The German recently agreed to a deal with RB Leipzig, which will begin next summer, as he sees out his time with Hoffenhaim. The young manager recently admitted that Real Madrid came knocking but he turned them down because of his relative youth and the fact that more opportunities will arrive in the future. "There is nothing bigger than Real Madrid," he admitted but says it was not the right time in his career to make the move.
His name was mentioned a lot but he is the only manager who may or may not have been contacted and he has not admitted an approach by the club. Liverpool shocked the world last season by making it to the Champions League final and before that with Borussia Dortmund, Klopp was a relevation. Perez is wary of such high-strung managers, however, after Mourinho's jaunt at the Bernebau. Whether or not Real Madrid contacted him remains a mystery