Zidane to leave Madrid at the end of the season

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is understood to have told his players that he is leaving at the end of the season.

The Frenchman has already walked away from Santiago Bernabeu once before, resigning from his post after securing a third successive Champions League triumph in 2018. He returned in March 2019 and clinched the league title a year later, but now looks destined to depart once again.

The Frenchman revealed his decision in the dressing room prior to last Sunday’s 2-2 draw away to Sevilla in La Liga.

Madrid take on Athletic Club on Sunday in La Liga and then conclude their season at home to Villarreal on May 23.

Those will be Zidane’s last two games in charge of the Blancos, having decided to cut short his second spell on the bench.

Goal had previously reported that the squad believed he would not stay on for another season after Madrid’s Champions League elimination at the hands of Chelsea at the semi-final stage.

The coach’s physical and mental fatigue have been mentioned as possible reasons for his stepping down, after he was drafted back into the hotseat in urgent circumstances towards the end of the 2018-19 campaign when both Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari failed to match his results at the Madrid helm.

Zidane’s timing may nevertheless also stoke up rumours linking the Frenchman to a sensational return to Turin.

A favourite at Juventus as a player, Zidane would be a dream candidate for the club should they dispense with Andrea Pirlo, although it is doubtful whether he would be prepared to jump back into coaching so soon after leaving the Spanish capital.

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