Everton have confirmed that manager Carlo Ancelotti has left to return to Real Madrid and succeed Zinedine Zidane in the Spanish capital.
Shock reports from Spain emerged earlier on Tuesday that Madrid had made contact with Italian Ancelotti. The 61-year-old had promised earlier this year to stick around and see the Toffees’ new stadium in. However, he admitted in a statement on Everton’s official website that he could not turn the “unexpected” move down.
Ancelotti said: “I would like to thank the Board of Directors, the players, and the Evertonians for the tremendous support they have all given me during my time at the Club.
“I have complete respect for everyone associated with Everton and hope they can achieve the exciting opportunities they have in front of them.
“While I have enjoyed being at Everton I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time.”
Madrid confirmed the news a few minutes before Everton’s statement, also revealing details of Ancelotti’s contract.
Their official media release (via realmadrid.com) wrote: “Real Madrid CF announce that Carlo Ancelotti will be the new coach of the first team for the next three seasons.
“Tomorrow the protocol signing ceremony will take place together with President Florentino Pérez at Real Madrid City.
“Later, Carlo Ancelotti will appear at 6:00 p.m. before the media in a telematic press conference.”
Everton’s statement added: “Everton would like to place on record its thanks to Carlo for his service to the Club over the past 18 months.
“The Club will begin the process of appointing a new manager immediately and will provide updates in due course.”
Everton facing big transfer window
Ancelotti leaves Everton after a disappointing end to the season in which they finished 10th in the Premier League.
They had a fantastic start and sat top at an early stage with the help of summer signing James Rodriguez. However, his subsequent lack of minutes and the club’s poor home form saw them slide down the table.
But while a Europa League place looked a possibility at one stage, the Toffees ended up without European football.
Nevertheless, the club now face a huge summer transfer window as they continue their search for managerial stability.
Indeed, Ronald Koeman, Marco Silva, Sam Allardyce and now Ancelotti have now left the club without truly stamping their mark.