Real Murcia president Victor Galvez says his team were not able to appoint Guti as coach this summer because he is succeeding Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid.
Current Madrid under-18 team coach Guti has emerged as a possible candidate to the senior team vacancy left by Zidane’s surprise resignation last month, days after winning a third consecutive Champions League title.
Although Madrid president Florentino Perez reportedly prefers a more experienced option, there have been difficulties luring Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri from their respective clubs.
Speaking at a news conference, Galvez said his plan to appoint Guti at the third-tier club has been scuppered by Zidane’s Madrid departure.
“Guti is not going to coach Murcia as he will be Real Madrid coach,” Galvez said. “He was the coach I wanted. Zidane could have resigned a few days later.”
AS say the Murcia president’s words have moved Guti to favourite in the betting markets, followed by Chelsea’s outgoing manager Antonio Conte, ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, Pochettino, former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri, Allegri and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.
Guti scored 77 goals in 542 games for Madrid between 1995 and 2010, winning five La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies, while drawing mixed reviews from pundits and coaches for his carefree attitude on and off the pitch.
Former Madrid stars including Fernando Morientes have backed their former-teammate as a viable candidate for the job, pointing out that Zidane’s main experience had been with the club’s Castilla youth team before he took over the senior side and had outstanding success.
Madrid native Guti’s Juvenil side completed a historic domestic treble in his first season in charge last year, although the 2017-18 season saw them finish third in the regional table, behind Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano’s youth teams.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan