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REAL MADRID

Florentino Pérez: crisis talks till two in the morning

After the Ajax debacle the Real Madrid president discussed with his directors what needs to happen next at the club.

As soon as the final whistle had gone in the Ajax debacle which saw Real Madrid crash out of the Champions League club president Florentino Pérez held crisis talks with his trusted directors in the meeting room next to the VIP suite at the Bernabéu. The improvised meeting after the 1-4 defeat lasted, according to this newspaper’s sources, until two in the morning.

Analysis of the Real Madrid disaster

The conversation, logically, turned on an analysis of the causes of the disastrous week for Real Madrid (out of the Champions League, the Copa del Rey and without a hope in LaLiga all in six days), in how to finish the season with dignity, without running any risk of finishing outside the Champions League spots (with Getafe looking at third place in LaLiga!), a discussion of which players have probably reached the end of their time at the club (Marcelo, Kroos, Bale…) and the need to make major signings in the summer to bring back the excitement and hope to the fans who are currently completely disillusioned.

The sacking of Lopetegui (the Basque coach left with Barcelona seven points ahead, and the gap is now 12), the failed attempt with Solari (who also now has a contract through to 2021) and the need to spend the savings build up since 2015 having not made any major signings were major debating points between the executives.

Solari to continue with Real Madrid, for now

In principle the idea is to continue for now with Solari, because there are only 12 Liga games left this season and the only objective is to maintain the Champions League position, meaning sacking him would likely cause more nervousness in the squad and would be unlikely to fix anything. However at least one executive argued that the club should terminate the Argentinean coach’s contract due to his poor management of the situation over the past week and for his decision to ostracise several first team players.

What is certain is that Solari won’t continue after the end of this season, meaning a major part of the discussions revolved around the pros and cons of the various candidates to take over for 2019-2020: Mourinho, Allegri, Pochettino, Klopp and Löw.

Despite going on until the early hours of Wednesday, the talks have, above all, opened a period of reflection. Everyone present is all too aware that choosing the wrong coach will lead directly to another fiasco. The decision is absolutely fundamental and the Bernabéu bosses are determined to get it right. Meaning this won't be the last extended conversation for Florentino and his board, with the president last night suffering the worst moment of his two spells in charge of Real Madrid.