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Open Thread: May 28, 2021

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Our Friday issue of the Daily Merengue!

Benfica v Real Madrid - UEFA Youth League Final Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

Who will be the new Real Madrid boss?

The favorite for the position on Thursday morning was Massimiliano Allegri, but he went instead to Juve where they offered him a four year deal as opposed to Real Madrid’s two. They will pay him 9 million euros for four years.

The two favorites who then come to the top of the list are Castilla coach Raúl Gonzalez and the Italian manager Antonio Conte. Raul has no experience at all coaching top league football and one has to wonder if the Real Madrid board would get past that size of a risk. Conte just won the Scudetto with Inter Milan and curiously has become available. Why did Inter let him go? Via ESPN:

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport suggested the move was in part due to the club’s need to cut operating costs amid the coronavirus pandemic. The newspaper claimed Inter wanted to cut salary costs by 15-20% and player departures would be necessary, with Conte not keen to work with a “downsized” project.

These are tough financial times indeed for many teams caught in the blight of the coronavirus pandemic. PSG and Tottenham are said to be also taking a look at Conte. Josep Pedrerol of ElChiringuitotv reports that Conte was enthusiastic about the interest from Madrid, but make of that what you will. Gianluigi Longari of Sportitalia TV reports that Real Madrid are in the lead to sign Conte.

If Madrid is sold on Conte, it helps their case that his Inter contract includes a no-train clause in Italy:

The Argentine Mauricio Pochettino has also recently emerged as a possibility as a result of a fallout with PSG sporting director Leonardo (what a shock, no?).

It has been said in the past that Pochettino has support from people on the Real Madrid board.

Report: UEFA plan to change the UCL format

(ht: Football_Novice)

One has to reckon that many teams will object strongly to a semifinal leg being taken out of their home stadiums.