Real Madrid could be about to shock the world and re-appoint former boss Zinedine Zidane as new coach after it has been widely claimed in Spain on Monday afternoon that the three-time Champions League winner has agreed to return to the Bernabeu.
Zidane famously walked away after his third Champions League win last May, seemingly preferring to go out on top rather than risk a potential drop-off should he continue.
Successor Julen Lopetegui was quickly fired after only three months in charge and speculation of Zidane or Jose Mourinho being brought back to Madrid has been rife since Santiago Solari's team was thrashed by Ajax in the Champions League last week.
Mourinho appeared to be the heavy favourite to land the job after reports alleged that Zidane had doubts about returning. Yet while it was claimed by the Daily Telegraph in England last week that Mourinho was 'almost 100%' set to return, AS stated a day later that there was no support within the club for president Florentino Perez's wish to re-hire the Portuguese.
Further speculation alleged that a handful of senior players, including Sergio Ramos, have already said privately that they would look to leave should Mourinho return.
That appears to have made way for Zidane, for whom the supposed doubts have seemingly gone, after a wave of Spanish sources all carried the same news of an imminent return.
El Chiringuito, La Sexta, Marca, Cadena COPE and Cadena SER have all independently reported or verified the story. Marca in particular notes that Solari will be dismissed by the Real board on Monday evening, while COPE suggests Zidane will be leading training on Tuesday.
Soon after El Chiringuito began, others quickly followed suit after looking into it themselves.
Zidane back to Real Madrid | Cadena Ser say they've been able to back the information, and are now also reporting Zidane will take the job.— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) March 11, 2019
Real have had a disastrous season by their own incredibly high standards. They trail Barcelona by 12 points in La Liga and were knocked out of the Copa del Rey and Champions League within the space of a single week earlier this month.
It was reported last week that club captain Ramos had called a players only meeting to demand full commitment from the whole squad for the remainder of the season.