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Zinedine Zidane set to return as Real Madrid manager

By Dan Sansom |Sky Sports|

Zinedine Zidane will be reappointed as Real Madrid manager, according to Sky sources.

Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane

The Frenchman, who left Real last summer after leading the club to three successive Champions League titles, will replace Santiago Solari.

According to sources in Spain, Real’s board of directors will meet with Solari to dismiss the Argentine and rehire Zidane.

Real saw their season fall apart in the space of a week with back-to-back defeats in the Copa del Rey and La Liga, leaving them 12 points behind rivals Barcelona.

A surprise 4-1 home loss to Ajax in the Champions League followed, resulting in Real fans staging a protest outside the Bernabeu in which they called for Solari to be sacked and for Jose Mourinho to replace him.

Former president Ramon Calderon told Sky Sports News last week that Mourinho was the first choice to take over and was approached by the club, but Zidane looks set to return.

Zidane was first appointed Real Madrid boss in January 2016 after a spell in charge of the B team, and he became the first coach to win the Champions League in three straight seasons.

Zidane’s Real Madrid record

Competition G W D L GF GA W%
La Liga 96 68 18 10 263 101 70.8
Champions League 33 22 7 4 78 37 66.7
Copa del Rey 12 6 4 2 33 15 50
FIFA Club World Cup 4 4 0 0 9 3 100
UEFA Super Cup 2 2 0 0 5 3 100
Spanish Super Cup 2 2 0 0 5 1 100
Total 149 104 29 16 393 160 69.8

He was already the only coach to have claimed back-to-back Champions League titles, but despite his European success he came under pressure for winning only one La Liga title during his two and a half years in charge.

According to Spanish media outlet Marca, Solari has already said goodbye to the first team, with Zidane expected to take his first training session on Tuesday before managing his first game back against Celta Vigo at the Bernabeu on Saturday.

Analysis: Why would Zidane return?

“They do say never go back but will Zidane even be able to recognise the Real Madrid team that he walked away from just nine short months ago? Like the parent who returns from the shops to find that the kids have run amok, set fire to the kitchen and soiled the carpet, he’s not angry, he’s just disappointed.”