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.
Goal report that Zidane told the Madrid dressing room prior to their clash with Sevilla on 9 May that he will not be staying on beyond the end of the campaign, and will resign after the season finale against Villarreal.
The Merengues legend has another year remaining on his current deal as a coach, and the club has stressed that they are satisfied with his work and would gladly see him stay on for another season.
He could still walk away with another league title under his belt too, as Madrid continues their scrap to defend the throne. Zidane’s men wrestled the power away from Barcelona last year, but as it stands, Atletico Madrid will be the new champions in the Spanish capital.
Los Blancos sit two points behind their city rivals with two games remaining, and the title race is likely to go down to the wire – the relentless pressure perhaps having affected the Madrid boss.
There are suggestions that the physical and mental fatigue of management – particularly with a packed schedule due to the coronavirus outbreak – has worn Zidane down this year, and he is not prepared to go again next year.
However, this won’t stop links arising between him and another of his former clubs, Juventus. Zidane could be lined up to replace Andrea Pirlo in the summer if the rookie boss fails to secure Champions League football for next season.
Massimiliano Allegri is another name in the running for a return to Juventus, although the Italian coach is one of the favourites to take over from Zidane, should he leave Madrid in the summer.