Rafa Benitez has been sacked as coach of Real Madrid, according to reports in the Spanish press.
Sunday night’s 2-2 draw with Gary Neville’s Valencia has proved to be the final straw for Florentino Perez with the club set to confirm the news at 5.30pm Spanish time, 4.30pm GMT.
Zinedine Zidane, who is in charge of Real’s second team, Real Madrid Castilla, will take over first-team duties at the Bernabeu.
AS reported the news, while respected Spanish pundit Guillem Balague also tweeted the news and claimed: “It could happen this afternoon.”
It could happen this afternoon https://t.co/qYrD4nWvHR
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) January 4, 2016
Real sit in third place in La Liga, just three points behind leaders Barcelona and recently hammered Ray Vallecano 10-2, but Benitez has come under fire for the club’s style of play, as well as some poor results.
The future of the former Liverpool boss, appointed at the Bernabeu in June last year, has come under close scrutiny and the 55-year-old once again had to face awkward questions about his job after Sunday night’s draw at Valencia.
Asked about his position last night, Benitez tried to turn focus to the positive aspects of his side’s performance.
Benitez said: “You are free to ask that question, but not well focused. For the effort we deserve more praise than anything else.
“I cannot prevent speculation about whether I continue, but I can make the team work as it has today. We were capable of getting the three points.”