‘Zidane would be Benitez’s replacement’

A report from Catalonia claims a Real Madrid defeat to Barcelona could spell the end of Rafa Benitez and Zinedine Zidane would be offered the vacancy.

Mundo Deportivo says that Florentino Perez has grown unhappy with the standard of Madrid’s play under Benitez but was willing to look past it while the club were top of the League.

They slipped to second behind Barca prior to the international break, however, as Madrid lost to Sevilla and La Blaugrana beat Villarreal, and falling further behind would be terminal to Benitez’s time on the bench.

Perez is said to have wanted a Coach who would take a sterner hand with the locker room than Carlo Ancelotti, but didn’t consider the reaction of the players, a number of whom have had disagreements with Benitez.

Should Benitez get the push then Perez would turn to Madrid legend Zidane, a former assistant to Ancelotti and, since 2014, in charge of the RM Castilla team.

Madrid’s B team were under Zidane relegated but Perez’s long-term plan is to install the World Cup winner as the Madrid Coach in an effort to replicate the success Barca had backing Pep Guardiola.

But there’s no guarantee Zidane would accept the role, even though his aspiration is to be Madrid Coach as he would rather take over in the summer, at the start of the season, as opposed to be parachuted into the middle of a campaign with the club in crisis.

Perez will still try to tempt Zidane into the job if he dispenses with Benitez, but MD suggest there is a short-term alternative already at the club – Victor Fernandez.

Fernandez, latterly of Deportivo La Coruna and previously employed at Porto, Celta Vigo, Real Zaragoza and others, was in the summer appointed as part of the Madrid youth set-up.

MD tout the idea that Fernandez could be an experienced guiding hand to the end of the season, at which point Zidane would then take the reins.

Tags Rafa Benitez Zinedine Zidane