The search to replace Julen Lopetegui continues for Real Madrid.

By 90Min
November 02, 2018

Real Madrid may need to continue their search for a new manager to replace the dismissed Julen Lopetegui after reported primary target Roberto Martinez seemingly ruled himself out of taking the job in the Bernabeu pressure cooker.

Former Wigan and Everton coach Martinez had emerged as favourite after Antonio Conte apparently pulled out of the running over fears it was the wrong fit. That then led to gossip that Real wanted to starting speaking with Martinez as soon as possible.

However, it seems like the Belgium boss has already shot down the idea of managing Real.

"We won't waste our time on that..." was the response he recently gave to Belgian outlet VTM Nieuws when the subject of taking over in Madrid came up.

Martinez earned global acclaim during the summer when he led Belgium to a best-ever third-place finish at the World Cup in Russia. The Red Devils have since risen to the top of the FIFA world rankings and are also top of their UEFA Nations League group.

The 45-year-old Spaniard only signed a contract extension in May that promised to extend his time in charge of the Belgian team until after Euro 2020, when the country will be genuinely hoping to win its first ever major international silverware.

Real are currently being led by interim coach Santiago Solari, who enjoyed a 4-0 win over lower league Melilla in the Copa del Rey in his first game in charge this week.

Spanish rules dictate that an interim can only be in the role for a maximum of two weeks, after which a decision over a permanent appointment must be made.

Mauricio Pochettino remains the favorite with bookmakers to be next permanent Real Madrid manager, with odds of 7/4 at SkyBet. Solari is 2/1 to get the job full-time, while Martinez is listed at 5/2 and Arsene Wenger is considered a 5/1 shot.

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