Real Madrid may turn to Jupp Heynckes as their next boss if prising Carlo Ancelotti away from Paris St-Germain proves too difficult, says Guillem Balague.
Ancelotti's request to leave PSG and succeed Jose Mourinho at the Bernabéu was rejected earlier this month by president Nasser al-Khelaifi, leaving the Spanish giants in limbo.
Balague believes that if the compensation bill for Ancelotti, who still has one year left on his current contract to run, proves too steep then Real may well give up on the former Chelsea boss altogether and turn their attention to Heynckes who is set to be replaced by Pep Guardiola despite guiding Bayern to Champions League glory last week at Wembley.
"Florentino Perez will be the chairman, Zinedine Zidane will be director of football and Ancelotti will be the coach - or Florentino Perez will be in charge of the club and decide otherwise," said Balague.
"I think there is a need for an anti-Mourinho - I say that because they've gone for Zidane, who is a legend and a different kind of character. Ancelotti is exactly the same, but he's got to get out of PSG.
"If he doesn't or Real Madrid have to pay some money, Real Madrid may say 'ok, let's leave it here' even though they've got an agreement with Ancelotti already.
"There were two more people in the frame - Jupp Heynckes and Rafael Benitez. Benitez thought 'I can't wait' so Heynckes is a possibility."
Following confirmation that Mourinho will leave Real at the end of the season, Madrid defender Sergio Ramos told Marca that the players need a manager who "trusts this squad and is ambitious".
Former Spain and Barcelona defender Albert Ferrer told Revista that Ancelotti has the ability to unify the squad.
"The information that I have about Carlo Ancelotti is that he's very good in terms of bringing a good team atmosphere into the dressing room and getting on well with the players," said Ferrer.
"That's what Real Madrid need because it has been a very difficult year for them with confrontations and many things going on, so they need to get back together and become a good bunch of friends and players and fight for the same thing.
"Ancelotti is one of the managers they can do this with."
Fellow Revista pundit Graham Hunter said he would "love" to see Ancelotti in Madrid, but said that Heynckes' defensive nous also makes him a good fit for the role.
"I would back Heynckes [if he got the job]," said Hunter. "If you look at the work he has done, particularly with the self-belief of that Bayern Munich squad and the way in which Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben double up with the full-backs, that makes Bayern difficult to score against.
"That is probably the key flaw of Real Madrid right now - that they don't know how to defend the ball into the box from open play and set play.
"If he brought that, then fine. He's been there once before [1987-1991] but I'm not certain that he wants to go because it will be tough for him to erase the stain of how abysmally he was treated.
"There is a possibility he will go but I don't think he is a character. They are two other trainers who would be perfect - Joachim Low and Jurgen Klopp. I'm not sure either of them are available right now.
"I think Real will work and get Ancelotti. PSG feel they've been disrespected and I think their nose is out of joint. I think that deal will go through and he'll bring back distinction and class, as well as good coaching skills to Madrid.
"They lack that and I'd love to see him there. I believe in him."