Real Madrid are looking to hold talks with Roberto Martinez as soon as possible, after the former favourite Antonio Conte ruled himself out of the job.
The Belgium national team manager’s stock is at an all time high after he lead the Red Devils to their best ever finish at a World Cup, garnering third place. However, the Royal Belgium Football Association (KBVB) have warned Florentino Perez that they will not accept the same treatment that was offered to the Royal Spanish Football Federation when they hired Julen Lopetegui.
Those negotiations were kept hidden from Luis Rubiales and the RFEF, prompting the sacking of Lopetegui on the eve of this summer’s tournament, and the Belgians were keen to set the boundary for any upcoming talks with their man.
As quoted by the Daily Telegraph, a spokesperson for the KBVB proclaimed in no uncertain terms: “If a club wanted to hire Mr. Martinez it should first reach an agreement with the Belgian Football Federation.”
It is understood that the Belgian hierarchy are aware of the regard with which Martinez naturally holds the Madrid job in, so are not actively blocking the advances, but keen to ensure they are conducted in the right fashion.
The former Wigan, Everton and Swansea manager has been propelled to the top of the pile after Antonio Conte vacated from the race. There is some speculation that this was prompted by the reaction of some Los Blancos players, particularly Sergio Ramos, in response to the prospect of Conte’s reign.
However, sources close to the former Chelsea tactician have insisted it was the Italian’s call, predicated on a reluctance to take over half way through the season. As it stands, the club have placed Santiago Solari in temporary charge.
The 42-year-old lead his side out for the first time against Melilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, with Madrid running out 4-0 winners.