Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has hinted that coach Zinedine Zidane could leave the club at the end of the season, suggesting that the Frenchman might be ready for a 'rest' after two years in the Bernabeu pressure cooker.
Just months after guiding Real to a second Champions League title in as many seasons, seeing them become the first club to retain the trophy in the post-European Cup era, Zidane has come under fire after poor domestic results.
Los Blancos remain fourth in La Liga and trail leaders Barcelona by 17 points. They were also knocked out of the Copa del Rey at the quarter final stage by Leganes, although the team is on course to progress in the Champions League after Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 this week.
But rather than Zidane staying on next season because of another potential Champions League crown, Ramos has admitted that the opposite is true as it could prompt the coach to walk away.
Up to now, it has been assumed that winning the Champions League is the only thing that will keep Zidane in the hot-seat beyond this season. That may not actually be the case at all.
"Perhaps he will win it again and then fancy going off for a break. That's a possibility. Everyone takes for granted that if he wins it he will stay but he might want to take a rest," Ramos is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
It was rumoured last month than fatigue and the constant pressure of dealing with Bernabeu expectations could see Zidane quit Real. At that time, it was also said that Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Germany coach Joachim Low are potential candidates to succeed him.