Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas has emerged the bookmakers' favourite to replace Jose Mourinho as the next manager of Real Madrid.
Mourinho is expected to leave Madrid at the end of the season, with the club failing miserably to re-create the highs of the last campaign and trailing arch-rivals Barcelona by 13 points. In addition, there have also been reports of arguments and fights between the manager and key players, including club captain and icon, Iker Casillas.
Villas-Boas, previously regarded as 25/1 to take over at the Bernabeu, has now moved to evens to succeed his compatriot, following a flurry of big money bets on the 35-year-old this Sunday. Incidentally, the young Portuguese has already a history of succeeding his compatriot: he has taken charge at two of Mourinho's former clubs - Porto and Chelsea.
It is also understood that Villas-Boas' relationship with Gareth Bale remains a factor that could decisively swing any decision in the Portuguese's favour, with Madrid keen on landing the in-demand Tottenham star this summer.
"Villas-Boas has silenced the majority of his doubters this season and follows in the mould of Mourinho with his football philosophy but lacks the overbearing ego, which has caused so many fractions in Madrid, so he could well be the perfect fit for the Bernabeu," the Metro quoted Sky Bet football trader Chris Spicer as saying.
"The key to his success at Spurs has been getting the best out of Bale, so if the Welshman is their main transfer target this season then acquiring his current manager would certainly do their chances no harm," he added.
Paris St Germain's Carlo Ancelotti (2/1), Swansea City's Michael Laudrup (25/1), Roberto Mancini (33/1) and Borussia Dortmund's Jurgen Klopp (40/1) follow Villas-Boas in the train of possible options to become the next Madrid manager, according to the bets.
Meanwhile, Laudrup has cooled speculation linking him with a summer move to coach his former club.
"I don't think Madrid have made any decisions [about next season's manager]. Nobody has talked to me. My relationship with the president [at Swansea] is phenomenal. I want to be here next year," the Dane pointed out.