Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has been tipped to step down and walk away for the second time at the end of the season regardless of what happens in the La Liga title race.
Real are five points adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid but have a game in hand on their city rivals and could yet retain their title if they can end the season strongly.
However, a seemingly ‘fed up’ Zidane could still end up quitting following the final game against Villarreal on 23 May, whether his team lifts the trophy or not.
Zidane resigned his position the first time soon after the 2018 Champions League final, having guided Los Blancos to back-to-back-to-back European titles in only two-and-a-half years in charge. At the time, he said he felt it necessary for the squad to have fresh leadership to remain successful, yet it was only ten months before he was persuaded to return to the helm.
Earlier this month it was suggested there have been growing concerns among the players that Zidane has become increasingly tired and frustrated in his job. Now, the Daily Mail reports that the Frenchman has ‘all but made up his mind’ to leave at the end of the season.
It is said that Zidane senses he no longer has the full backing of president Florentino Perez and does not believe there is a willingness at board level to convince him to stay on.
It is suggested that the only thing that could now get him to stay is the recent emergence of a number of young players, as well as the possibility that Kylian Mbappe could also finally seal a move to Madrid in what stands to be a particularly crucial summer.
If Zidane does leave Real, Juventus and France are billed as likely suitors, with the former expected to dispense with Andrea Pirlo after a difficult 2020/21 season and the latter potentially on the hunt for a new coach if they opt to make a change after Euro 2020.
Ex-Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri would be an obvious big name for Real to pursue, although there could also be pressure on Perez to promote club legend Raul, who is in charge of Castilla.