Xabi Alonso of Bayer 04 Leverkusen

5 managers tipped to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid ft. Premier League boss & Liverpool icon

Carlo Ancelotti is set to depart Real Madrid at the end of the season and the speculation surrounding his potential successor at the Bernabeu has been rife of late.

With Ancelotti set to become the new manager of Brazil in 2024, Real Madrid are now in the process of sounding out his replacement and plenty of big names have been linked with the job.

We’ve taken a closer look at five of the managers tipped to replace Ancelotti at Real Madrid and have assessed their chances of getting the job.

Xabi Alonso

The former Real Madrid and Liverpool midfielder is currently among the favourites to take over at the Bernabeu. Alonso started his coaching career with the Spanish giants in 2018 as he to charge of the Real Madrid U14s for one season.

Since leaving the glitz of Real Madrid behind, Alonso has crafted out a solid coaching career for himself. He did a fine job with Real Sociedad B before grabbing plenty of headlines with Bayer Leverkusen, where he still coaches today.

Even Ancelotti has been waxing lyrical about his former player of late: “”I had Xabi Alonso as a player. He has a high-level knowledge of football. He’s doing very well with Bayer Leverkusen. He has that reading [of the game], that capacity.

“I think one day – for Raul [Gonzalez], for [Alvaro] Arbeloa, for Xabi Alonso — their biggest wish is to coach Real Madrid and I want that for them because I know them all, I love them all. Let’s hope that one day they can be Real Madrid coaches.”

Monaco, Monaco, 23rd February 2023. Xabi Alonso Head coach of Bayer Leverkusen looks on prior to kick off in the UEFA Europa League match at Stade Louis II, Monaco

READ: Klopp’s future heir? Xabi Alonso is working wonders at Bayer Leverkusen


Ancelotti also name-dropped Raul when discussing his potential successor and there aren’t many people around who understand the fabric of Real Madrid more than Raul.

The 46-year-old made over 700 appearances for the Spanish giants and scored 323 goals in that time. Raul has been in and around the club his whole life and he currently manages Real Madrid Castilla.

While he is yet to manage at the top level, like some of the other candidates on this list, he certainly wouldn’t be the first manager to be promoted to the first team after managing the reserves. Indeed, Zinedine Zidane took up a similar coaching path.

Zinedine Zidane

Speaking of the Frenchman, a third spell in charge of Real Madrid cannot be ruled out. Since leaving the club for a second time in 2021, Zidane has been out of work and is seemingly waiting for the right opportunity to come along.

Back in June, Diario AS reported that Florentino Perez is keen on bringing Zidane back to the Bernabeu for the third time as a manager. It remains to be seen if the 51-year-old would be tempted by the offer.

Roberto De Zerbi

From Brighton to the Bernabeu? De Zerbi’s name has recently been thrown into the ring for the upcoming job and based on his track record in England, you cannot deny his coaching ability.

According to Spanish outlet Cadena SER, the Italian boss is on Real Madrid’s shortlist after showcasing his talent in the Premier League.

The Seagulls have scored more goals than any other Premier League side so far this season and you only have to look at the league table since De Zerbi took over to see just how talented he is.

Brighton and Hove, UK. 24th Sep, 2023. Roberto De Zerbi, Manager of Brighton and Hove Albion applauds the fans after the Premier League match at the AMEX Stadium, Brighton and Hove.

READ: The Premier League table over the course of Roberto De Zerbi’s 38 games as Brighton manager

Alvaro Arbeloa

The upcoming job might come too soon for Arbeloa, but the former Real Madrid defender is certainly making steps in the right direction to put himself in contention for the job one day.

Arbeloa returned to Real Madrid in a coaching capacity in 2020 and he has steadily moved up the ranks in that time and now coaches the Under-19 team. We certainly wouldn’t rule him out of the job in the future.

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