Football | 1 week ago

Standards are hight at Real Madrid.

The 12-time European champions demand the best from their squad and their manager, which would explain how they get through so many of them.

After losing a third consecutive league clásico at the Bernabeu, rumblings started circulating over Zinedine Zidane's future and a 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo at the weekend won't have helped his case.

Two further points dropped leaves Madrid trailing Barcelona by 16 points now. Combine that with Barça's unveiling of Philippe Coutinho and it's easy to see why the Madrid president might be getting anxious.

It's unlikely that Perez will pull the proverbial trigger on Zidane in this January window, with a lack of top managers available to hire as a quick replacement, but it seems probable that Zidane will be shown the door in the summer. Madrid currently sit 4th in the table, and it looks like the most they will be able to get out of this league campaign is wrestling 2nd place from their city rivals Atlético Madrid.

A third consecutive Champions League trophy would probably save the French man, but they face a tough task in the round of 16 - Paris Saint-Germain. Lose that tie, and this process could accelerate very quickly.

Zidane holds legendary status at Madrid after his illustrious playing career, but he admitted to France Football:

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"Zinedine Zidane isn't a player at Real Madrid anymore. That Zidane no longer exists.

Now it's down to Zinedine Zidane the coach to carve out a career. I'm not protected by what I've done as a player at this club.

I say to myself, 'if I've got 10 days left here, then I'm going to live those 10 days to the max; if it's six months, I'll live those six months to the max'. I don't think beyond that.

I know I won't stay [in the job] for 10 years."

Diario Gol list Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and Germany coach Joachim Löw as potential replacements for Zidane. All signs point towards Conte leaving Chelsea at the end of the season, and Löw may fancy a change after the World Cup, which will be his sixth tournament in charge of Die Mannschaft.

It's not only Conte being linked with a move from West London to the Spanish capital; Los Blancos are also reportedly after two players.

  • Eden Hazard
  • Thibaut Courtois

Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois could join Conte in the Spanish capital as they try to keep up with Barcelona. The Belgian duo have both been linked to Madrid for a while, as Madrid look for a long term heir to Ronaldo on the left wing and a world class goalkeeper.

It's possible that we may see Madrid go in for Chelsea's two most prized assets as well as their manager. You'd think Roman Abramovich would have something to say about that.

Read more about:

Real Madrid, La Liga, Antonio Conte, Zinedine Zidane, Joachim Low