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He had no contingency plan for it. Mauricio Pochettino has become the man that Madrid want now, although a week ago he extended his Tottenham deal until 2023.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has always been linked with a move to the Bernabeu, and can now be backed at 7/2, ahead of Real's youth team coach Guti (8/1), and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte (12/1).

So with the Real position available after Zinedine Zidane's stunning decision to quit after winning the Champions League for the third successive year, it looks like the right job at the wrong time for Poch.

The Argentine signed a new five-year deal with Spurs last month, but that has not deterred 13-times European champions Madrid from making him their preferred candidate to succeed Zidane, according to media reports in Britain and Spain.

Pochettino is on Real's list of targets but, at the moment, he is happy at Tottenham.

"Of course I can completely rule that out now", Loew told reporters at Germany's World Cup training camp at Eppan, north Italy, after Spanish daily Marca claimed Real had already approached the 58-year-old German.

The Italian added: "Real Madrid would need to recover from Ronaldo's loss in terms of goals scored". "What is going to happen tomorrow, I don't know, but I will always tell you 'football is football, ' football will put you in your place always".

Asked by ESPN if his only chance of coaching Messi one day was to manage Newell's Old Boys where Messi has vowed to play for a season before he quits, Pochettino said: 'No, I would like to persuade him to come to pass through Tottenham first before he goes to Newell's'.