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11th Mar 2019

Zinedine Zidane set for return to Real Madrid as Solari heads for exit door

Zinedine Zidane is set for a shock return to Real Madrid as Florentino Perez prepares to replace Santi Solari, who has failed to salvage their season

Reuben Pinder


Real Madrid look set to rehire Zinedine Zidane after Santi Solari failed to salvage Real Madrid’s season of despair.

Zidane resigned from the Madrid job at the end of last season having won three consecutive Champions League titles and one LaLiga title in that time. Knowing Cristiano Ronaldo would depart that summer, the Madrid legend saw it as the perfect time to step down, having taken the team as far as he could.

But now he is reportedly being lined up to replace Solari, whose leadership has left Madrid in third, 12 points behind rivals Barcelona, out of the Champions League and the Copa del Rey, with nothing left to play for.

Reports of Madrid’s approach to bring Zidane back have emerged from Josep Pedrerol, who presents football panel show El Chiringuito on Spanish TV, and esteemed Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague has reported that Zidane has accepted the club’s offer.

Madrid president Florentino Perez is reported to want to bring José Mourinho back to the club, in order to impose an iron fist on the dressing room. That could still happen, but for now it looks like Zizou will take the reins.

Madrid began this season with Julen Lopetegui in charge, but the former Spain coach was unable to guide the club through the transition into the post-Ronaldo era. His dismissal came after a 5-1 thrashing at the Camp Nou in the season’s first Clásico. Solari was then hired as a temporary replacement and given the job until the end of the season, but it seems that he will not even last that long.

Madrid have hit a new low, which is still pretty high in the grand scheme of things, but when the white hankies come out at the Santiago Bernabeu, only one thing follows: a sacking.

Zidane’s best asset in his last stint as Madrid boss was his ability to manage a dressing room full of egos and keep a star0studded squad happy. He will face a big challenge in restoring morale to the dressing room, but right now it’s the only option they’ve got.