Though Zinedine Zidane’s decision to resign from Real Madrid came as a complete surprise to everyone, president Florentino Perez has confirmed that his decision will be respected.
A solemn press conference on Thursday afternoon was an indicator of the mood around the club.
“It was a completely unexpected decision for me,” Perez said to reporters.
“It’s a sad day for me and for the supporters, but when Zizou makes a decision, then we have to respect it because he deserves it.”
Just where Real Madrid go next is difficult to predict with any certainty, although it’s understood that Mauricio Pochettino is the favoured candidate of those in power at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
The Argentine coach renewed his contract with Tottenham Hotspur on May 24, although it’s rumoured that the new deal has a release clause embedded into it which would allow a move to Los Blancos.
This hasn’t yet been confirmed, and it’s difficult to imagine it being active in the summer of 2018, but Perez and his advisors will certainly explore the situation in the coming hours.
Recent months have seen conversations take place behind the scenes at the Spanish club, and the former Espanyol coach isn’t the only name under consideration.
Jurgen Klopp’s work at Liverpool is admired, whilst Joachim Loew’s international reputation is phenomenal after his long spell in charge of the German national team.
Antonio Conte is likely to be available in the near future after a complete breakdown in his relationship with Chelsea, and Massimiliano Allegri has maintained his commitment to Juventus.
Los Blancos must now act quickly, and the board of directors will meet on Thursday afternoon to decide on one name to pursue.
All signs at this moment indicate it will be the Tottenham Hotspur coach.