Real Madrid: Zidane's future up in the air
While he is under contract until 2022, Zidane has yet to confirm that he will continue as Madrid coach next season. The club has set up a contingency plan.
With little over a couple of months left until the end of the season, Zidane's future is still not clear. He is under contract until 2022, but has constantly avoided questions about whether he will still be at Real Madrid next season. "I don't look any further than the day to day. I don't plan anything," he replied in his most recent press conference when asked if he would still be coaching Madrid next season - confirming that he has yet to make a decision. While it has always been that way with Zidane, the atmosphere has changed during the past few weeks.
France and Juventus keen on Zidane
Zidane is under pressure to leave Real Madrid ahead of next season. The most interest has come from the French Football Federation, who have openly expressed that they see him as Didier Deschamps' successor. "If Didier leaves and I am still here, the first person would call would be Zidane," FFF president Noel Le Graët admitted recently. However, it's likely that Deschamps will see out his contract, which expires in 2022 - unless France have a disaster at the rescheduled Euro 2020.
Also keen to hire Zizou are Juventus. The Italian club is going through a complicated moment - eliminated from this year's Champions League at the Last 16 stage and 10 points adrift in Serie A, coach Andrea Pirlo could be sacked even before the campaign ends. If that happens, Zidane is Juve's number one objective.
Candidates for the Madrid job
If the atmosphere at Madrid wasn't sufficiently tense with the coach refusing to commit, now candidates to take over his job have started to emerge. The top candidate is Raúl, who is enjoying a great season coaching Castilla and a large section of the fans have requested that he takes the reins of the first team. Another option is Joachim Löw, who will leave the Germany job after the Euros and who, German media reports, has started learning Spanish which suggests he might be planning to move to a club in LaLiga. Even though the team's results have been positive (Madrid remain in contention in LaLiga and are in the quarter finals of the Champions League), Zidane has madridismo divided with many fans calling for the team's game to be more consistent; other simply don't understand what happened with players like Ødegaard and Jovic.
Whatever the outcome, Madrid's directors have total faith in Zidane and appreciate what he has done with the team this season bearing in mind the difficulties he has had to contend with (injuries, the pandemic, a non-stop fixtures calendar…). They also haven't forgotten how he agreed to return to Real Madrid in 2019 when the club was going through a delicate moment. As far as the club is concerned, they want him to continue.
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