June 8, 2018 / 3:59 PM / 10 months ago

Guti set to replace Zidane as Real Madrid coach, says Murcia chief

FILE PHOTO: Besiktas' midfielder Guti of Spain reacts during their Turkish Super League soccer match against Bursaspor in Istanbul December 5, 2010. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

MADRID, (Reuters) - The president of Spanish third division side Real Murcia has said his club’s plans to appoint Guti as coach this summer were scuppered because the former midfielder is set to take over at Real Madrid.

Real were left stunned by Zinedine Zidane’s decision to step down last month after landing a third consecutive Champions League crown.

Local media reports have linked numerous candidates to the job, including Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, however Victor Galvez insists that the former Spain and Real midfielder is the chosen one.

“Guti won’t become Murcia boss because he’s going to become Real Madrid coach,” Galvez said. “He was the guy I wanted, and it’s a shame Zidane didn’t take a couple of days longer to make his decision. Guti called me to thank me for my interest.”

A product of the club’s academy, Guti was a talented playmaker who made 542 appearances in all competitions in a 15-year senior career at Real, winning five La Liga titles.

If he is appointed, it will be the second consecutive ‘in-house’ appointment by Real’s president Florentino Perez, who promoted Zidane from reserve team boss in January 2016. Like the Frenchman, Guti has never held a senior managerial position in his nascent coaching career.

He was linked earlier this summer to vacancies at Leganes in La Liga and St Mirren in Scotland, as well as Murcia, having enjoyed a successful spell in charge of Real’s Under-18 side over the past two seasons.

Editing by Toby Chopra

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