Zinedine Zidane apparently has four games to save his job at Real Madrid, according to Spanish publication Marca.
The Frenchman has had a highly successful beginning to his managerial career, winning three Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles during two spells at Los Blancos.
However, this season’s start has been far from ideal for the Ballon d’Or winner, and he has found himself under intense pressure. Real Madrid have won just one of their last five fixtures in all competitions, leaving them fourth in La Liga and third in their Champions League group with just one game remaining.
Marca are now reporting that Zidane has four games left to impress the Real Madrid hierarchy, or else he’ll be departing the Bernabeu, with former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino named as a possible replacement.
This four-game period will begin on Saturday with an away trip to Sevilla, who sit just one place below Los Blancos with a game in hand. This is followed by a home game against Borussia Monchengladbach, which Zidane’s men cannot afford to lose or else they will be knocked out of the Champions League.
Next up will be a home fixture against city rivals Atletico Madrid, who are currently still unbeaten in La Liga. The final game of this run is at home to Athletic Bilbao.
Meanwhile, Zidane himself has emphasised that he will not quit following Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Speaking after the game, the 48-year-old said (via Marca): “I’m not going to resign, [it would be] no use.
“I’m strong and I’m going to give everything,” he continued. “I’m optimistic. It’s a difficult moment, but we have to have character and pride.
“Today’s result is a shame because we didn’t deserve it. We have to win the next game. We’re going to believe and we’re going to fight, I’m sure of it.”
It’s worth pointing out that Marca is often considered the unofficial mouthpiece of the Real Madrid board, and a public message such as this laying the groundwork for potentially making a change in management if results don’t improve.
Zidane’s three Champions League titles and last year’s La Liga title give him more clout than most, but as was the case with Vicente Del Bosque in 2003, winning the league title but failing in Europe is never an option.
Such a strong statement in Marca is a direct outcome of the setbacks in Europe, and if Madrid truly are knocked out of the Champions League on 9th December (last game of the group stage), it will probably be the end for Zidane.
Win that, and he will get a chance to manage through the January transfer window.