Real Madrid have been left behind in the La Liga title race, with high-flying Barcelona opening a nine-point lead at the top of the table after their hard-fought win over Valencia and Los Blancos’ goalless draw against Real Betis over the weekend.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side have maintained their good run of form in the Champions League and are in the driving seat to progress to the quarter-final stage after taking a three-goal lead against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Anfield. But their domestic form has left much to be desired.
They are unlikely to catch Barcelona in La Liga and are also expected to crash out of the Copa del Rey after a 1-0 loss against Xavi’s men in the semi-final first leg at home. Barca also lifted the Spanish Supercopa after beating Real Madrid in January.
The situation has left question marks over Ancelotti’s future at Santiago Bernabéu. The former AC Milan boss reportedly (via talkSPORT) ‘clashed’ with club president Florentino Perez.
Former Barcelona player could become Real Madrid manager
The Madrid outfit are looking at potential options to replace Ancelotti, and have included Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta on their short-list.
Considering how impressive Arsenal are doing in the Premier League, Arteta is unlikely to abandon the project in North London mid-season. Ahead of his side’s Europa League match against Sporting CP, the Spaniard insisted he’s focused on his role at the Emirates Stadium.
"“I’m fully focused on what I’m doing here at Arsenal. I’m extremely happy, proud and grateful to be in this [Arsenal] football club,” Arteta said.Source: Fabrizio Romano"
Further, Arteta’s past links with Barcelona cannot be ignored either. The Spaniard played for the Blaugrana at the youth level before moving to Paris Saint-Germain on loan in 2000.
He started his coaching career under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. Now, he’s challenging the Barcelona legend for the Premier League title.