Gareth Bale is reportedly considering his future at Real Madrid, after Los Blancos confirmed the dismissal of Rafael Benitez last night.
Zinedine Zidane was appointed as Rafa’s replacement as the first-team coach. The Frenchman, who won World Cup and UEFA Champions League as a player, had been in charge of the Real Madrid’s B team.
According to reports from The Guardian, Bale is “extremely disappointed” by the departure of Rafa only seven months after the Spaniard took charge at the Bernabeu.
Bale had previously informed Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez that he had a good working relationship with the former Liverpool manager and that the club were moving in the right direction.
The news will be of particular interest to Manchester United, who have been working on establishing a framework for a deal in case Bale becomes available next summer. Rory Smith of The Times notes that United would still need to meet his £300k-per-week wages, and would have to find sufficient funds to meet Perez’s asking price, thought to be in the region of £150m.
Perez confirmed Benitez’s exit around 8pm local time – the 11th time he has sacked a manager since he took the reigns in 2000.
Benitez had been under pressure ever since Real Madrid lost 4-0 to Barcelona in El Clasico in November.
Although Madrid are still capable of winning the La Liga, just one point off the top, they have looked rarely comfortable applying Rafa’s tactics on pitch.
Rafa is seen more of a defensive minded manager who has this knack of grinding out results, but such philosophies was always going to be a strange match at Madrid, considering it is a club where expansive and attacking football has been given more preference over anything else.