The young manager was approached by Real Madrid when they were looking for a replacement for Zinedine Zidane who shocked the footballing world by resigning after delivering three consecutive Champion League titles at the Santiago Bernabeu.
In an interview with Spanish outlet Marca, Nagelsmann said:
“We had phone calls, but in the end, the one who decided was me,” “I believed it was not the right step to go to Real Madrid.
“I was one of the candidates and the list was not very long. For me, that was important. I had a good chat with Jose Angel Sanchez and we decided that it was not the right step at that time. We agreed that we could talk again in the future if Real Madrid needed a coach – and I was available.”
Real Madrid’s interest in the German tactician was not surprising given how much progress he has made since making history as Bundesliga’s youngest-ever coach when he took charge of Hoffenheim in 2016.
In 2019, he moved to the East German side and has proven successful, with Leipzig spending much of the season challenging Bayern Munich for the title and progressing to the latter stages of the Champions League.
Nagelsmann’s immediate focus on his side’s Champions League quarterfinal clash versus Atletico Madrid. Speaking ahead of the game in Lisbon:
“My first thought was: ‘Oh, they’re a strong team defensively,’” he admitted after seeing the draw. “We will have to have a very solid block and be efficient in the final third to create danger. We’ll need to be creative and have control.
“Atletico are a heavyweight of European football, especially in recent years. Diego Simeone has done a great job with a lot of victories.”
The 33-year-old manager still has a lot of years ahead of him in his managerial career so there is still every possibility that Real Madrid will come back for him in the nearest future.