Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid after winning the Champions League three times in a row and Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was one of the firm candidates to replace the Frenchman.

He signed a five-year contract with the north London club in May and it was difficult for the La Liga giants to secure his services so they appointed Julen Lopetegui in June, who has now been sacked on Monday.

Today’s edition of Catalan newspaper Sport has a report explaining why the 13-time European champions failed to land the Argentine in the summer.

It’s claimed the Premier League outfit were ‘unwilling to negotiate the exit of’ Pochettino, and the leaders at Santiago Bernabéu ‘waited’ for the English side’s boss to push for an exit, which did not happen as they had ‘desired’.

There’s still thought to be interest in the Tottenham manager, but the club’s stance makes things difficult.

Sport believe Pochettino wanted the job, and that sets him apart from others who have turned it down, this time the issue was his current employer.

After Real Madrid’s Champions League win over Plzen, AS reported that Los Blancos are too scared of Spurs and Florentino Perez ‘dare not disturb’ Daniel Levy in his side’s pursuit of the 46-year-old.

Any approach from Real Madrid for Pochettino will not be easy, unless and until he asks to leave Tottenham.