Real Madrid

Florentino Pérez eyes Xabi Alonso to replace Zidane

According to Mundo Deportivo, the former Real Madrid star is the preferred choice of the president, who likes his character and tactical nous.

Florentino Pérez eyes Xabi Alonso to replace Zidane

The fallout may have intensified at Real Madrid following the Parisien embarrassment on Wednesday evening, however, this is something that has been rumbling for some time. Zinedine Zidane's position, even this early in the new campaign, is on thin ice, and another former Bernabéu star is being eyed as his successor, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Could Alonso sub on for Zidane?

The 3-0 Champions League defeat to a weakened PSG highlighted much of what is wrong with this current Madrid side. Individual mistakes can happen, injuries and lack of match sharpness can play their part, but it was the lack of collective responsibility and organisation that stood out for much of the game. These aspects tend to find blame in the coaching area, something fans have made clear. What made matters worse was that two of the missing stars for the hosts, who Florentino Pérez had wanted for Zidane's post-Cristiano Ronaldo revolution, were fully enjoying the moment in the stands.

Los Blancos' president plays a huge role at the club on various levels, and that includes his involvement in making player signings, not just the cheque writing but also the decision making. His plan was to buy up the great young talent and sprinkle them with a Galáctico or two. This is yet to pay dividends.

It was as early as the pre-season that Florentino began to realise Zidane may not be the man to take the team forward. The French coach had performed miracles in the Champions League during his first spell - although the questions then from some that it was more about a brave team being favoured by some fortune are now gathering pace - but he has not been able to deal with the squad issues that he came back to solve.

Florentino now has a decision to make. Continue with Zidane, give him the chance to get the best out of his new recruits once they have bedded in (a convincing victory over LaLiga leaders Sevilla this weekend would help reignite that option) or look to bring in someone he trusts more. According to Mundo, the president told one of his relatives that the club made a mistake by letting Xabi Alonso go (from Castilla to Real Sociedad), and that he is the preferred one to take over, more so than Raúl who is developing with Madrid's B team. It is said that Pérez sees Alonso as having more character and greater tactical nous.

There is another point made, however, one that has been simmering in the rumour mill but with few believing it would ever come to the boil following events over recent years. A plan to bring in what is described as the 'anti-Messi antidote', José Mourinho.