In theory, the vacant Real Madrid job should have the world's finest coaches falling over themselves to grab. But the reaction is the same as when Zinedine Zidane left in May...crickets from the game's big cheeses. So what's going on at the Santiago Bernabeu?
1) Following Zinedine Zidane
No-one in their right mind wants to follow Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid. Except Julen Lopetegui and look what happened there.
While Real Madrid supporters are not expecting to win the Champions League final for a fourth time - actually, they are - a strong tilt at the La Liga title is a must. Actually, winning it is a must.
Conte? Guti? Solari? 🤔— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) October 29, 2018
In the aftermath of #ElClasico, our @_DaniRiosG conducted a straw pool to find out who @realmadriden's fans would appoint if they were Florentino Perez. #TheXTRA pic.twitter.com/iLRGkq9OGz
And the Copa del Rey. And the FIFA Club World Cup. And getting revenge on Barcelona in the next Clasico. And all while playing in a dazzling style, getting the best out of the megastars and playing the Spanish contingent. And giving youth a chance. All at the same time.
Not so hard?
2) An over-the-hill team
Although it sounds like Monday morning quarterbacking, the signs were in the sky that the Real Madrid team had reached its peak after a third Champions League win in a row.
Zidane knew it. Cristiano Ronaldo knew it. In fact, Luka Modric knew it but the Croatian wasn't allowed to do anything about it.
The current Real Madrid squad had gone as far as it could even with Cristiano Ronaldo in the team. Never mind without the Portuguese poacher's goals and drive.
THE XTRA: MANAGERIAL TRICK OR TREAT IN MADRID
A large chunk of the squad is aging, slow, and has literally won so many World Cups, Champions Leagues and La Liga titles between them, that the likes of Luka Modric and Karim Benzema faced the new campaign with as much enthusiasm as a hungover Nick Nolte unloading a dishwasher.
Rousing Braveheart-style team talks and motivational powerpoint presentations are not going to fire up this squad of sated soccer stars.
3) All the power is with the president
So, if the current squad of players cannot be motivated to lift a footballing finger, how about signing some new ones?
Nope. That's the job of Florentino Perez. And he wants an expensive roof for the stadium. Even if Jurgen Klopp was snatched to take over Real Madrid, the piece of paper with the German's transfer targets would be put away in a draw marked 'in your dreams'.
Indeed, the paper would be lying on top of similar requests but in the handwriting of Zidane, Rafa Benitez, Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho and a multitude of other coaching casualties of Florentino's reign.
The Real Madrid manager is always going to be 100% responsible for the club's failings, but has only 2% of any power. And that power is to choose the color of the paint of the office walls at Real Madrid's training center.
The Real Madrid job is a everything-to-lose posting and the world's top managers are not in the business of scuttling their own careers.