Bale: I’ll speak to new Real boss Ancelotti after Euros

Gareth Bale has described Carlo Ancelotti as a “great manager” and will hold talks with the new Real Madrid boss about his future after Euro 2020.

Bale, whose future has been the subject of intense speculation, spent last season on loan at Tottenham and has one year left on his Real contract.

Ancelotti’s decision this week to leave Everton and return to Madrid is considered as increasing the chances of the Wales forward staying in Spain and seeing out the final year of his contract.

The Italian said on his Madrid return that he had a “lot of love” for Bale, who fell out of favour with previous manager Zinedine Zidane, and that he can have a future at the Bernabeu.

“I know Carlo Ancelotti is a great manager,” Bale said ahead of Wales’ final Euro 2020 warm-up game against Albania in Cardiff on Saturday.

“I get on with him really well, we had some great times in the past.”

Expanding on those comments in a Sky Sports News interview, Bale added: “He’s returned to Real Madrid and he’s a great guy.

“We had a great time together at Real Madrid and I’m sure he’s going to be amazing in charge there.

“I spoke to him when we played Everton at the start of the season, we hugged and had a little chat which was nice.

“But I’m still in the same boat and haven’t thought about it too much. I’m concentrated on our preparation now and what’s going to happen in the Euros. I’ll sort the rest of it after.”

Carlo Ancelotti was in charge when Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid from Spurs in September 2013 and the pair won the Champions League together later that season
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Carlo Ancelotti was in charge when Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid from Spurs in September 2013 and the pair won the Champions League together later that season

Bale, 31, said after the final game of his Tottenham loan spell that he knows where his future lies after this summer, but claimed it would “cause chaos” if he reveals it now.

Ancelotti was in charge when Bale joined Real from Spurs in September 2013 and the pair won the Champions League together later that season.

Bale said: “I know Carlo’s returned and I get on with him really well, and I’m not denying that, but I’m just concentrating on now.

“I’m sure I’ll have a conversation with him at some point and I’ll go from there when that happens.

“As soon as the Euros finishes then I’ll go from there.”

Ancelotti: Bale can still play for Real Madrid

Gareth Bale is coming back to Real Madrid and can enjoy a great next season there if he is “motivated”, says club’s new head coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Bale spent the 2020/21 campaign on-loan at Tottenham where he struggled for match fitness and first-team minutes under former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, but the Wales international finished the season in good form, scoring a hat-trick against Sheffield United and two goals against Leicester City.

The 31-year-old, who is set to enter the final 12 months of his contract at the Bernabeu, has said he will reveal what his future plans are following Wales’ involvement in the European Championships. In March, he dismissed any talk of retiring after the tournament.

Ancelotti and Bale won the Champions League and Copa del Rey together in 2014 and the Welshman scored in the finals of both competitions. The Italian insists he remains a huge admirer of Bale and thinks he can still have an impact for Real, despite being frozen out by Ancelotti’s predecessor Zinedine Zidane.

Bale and Zinedine Zidane endured a tumultuous relationship at Real Madrid
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Bale and Zinedine Zidane endured a tumultuous relationship at Real Madrid

“Gareth hasn’t played much in the Premier League, but he did score goals,” Ancelotti said.

“He was effective in the final games of the season when he played consistently.

“He is coming back, I know him well. If he is motivated to play, he can have a great season. I have no doubt.

“I have a lot of love still for Gareth, Isco, Marcelo… they will have the motivation to show they can still play for Real Madrid.”

Ancelotti left Everton on Tuesday after 18 months at Goodison Park to return to Real Madrid for a second spell in charge after having coached the Spanish giants between 2013 and 2015.

Bale has said he is aware of his future plans but does not want to reveal them before the end of the Euros
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Bale has said he is aware of his future plans but does not want to reveal them before the end of the Euros

“I will ask the same as last time. I want us to play well, to play with more intensity, be more organised and play spectacular football as that’s what Real Madrid’s history and supporters demand,” he said.

“Benzema needs to score 50 goals, not 30. Vinicius Jr has to score more, everyone has to score more.



Joe Rodon and Gareth Bale during Wales training








0:33

Joe Rodon has dismissed suggestions that Tottenham and Wales team-mate Gareth Bale could retire after Euro 2020

“I have lots of hope for the players but we need to try and find more goals from the wingers, midfielders. It’s not about signing a proven striker who scores 30 goals, we need to implement an offensive system and mentality.”

Ancelotti went on to coach Bayern Munich and Napoli after he was sacked by Real in 2015. He took charge of Everton in 2019 who finished 10th in the Premier League this season.

“I’m not the same Carlo Ancelotti, I’m different, I’ve got six more years of experience, negative and positive. But negative experiences can help you grow too,” he added.

Real calling card enough to end Ancelotti project

There is no escaping the risk that came with Everton appointing a manager of Carlo Ancelotti’s pedigree within the game 18 months ago.

In opting to pursue the Italian over other candidates that included David Moyes, Everton knew the potential for a more illustrious club – especially with a track record of success under his stewardship – expressing an interest should their house need putting back in order.

What will sting for supporters are the words of Ancelotti, just a week after his Crosby family house had been burgled and shortly after he had ended Everton’s 22-year wait for a win at Anfield back in February.

“I would like to be there when the new stadium is opened,” he said. “It will be a good achievement for me. To finish the contract here in 2024 means that you did a good job and when you do a good job the contract will not be stopped in 2024. It will continue. The time I spent here is one year and I have felt really good so I would like to stay as long as possible.”

Ancelotti returns in place of Zinedine Zidane
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Ancelotti returns in place of Zinedine Zidane

But Real Madrid have replaced a three-time Champions League winner with another, going back to an old face in the same way they replaced Santiago Solari with Zinedine Zidane in March 2019. The Everton board will be meeting on Tuesday night to discuss possible replacements.

It is worth remembering how the 61-year-old arrived at Goodison Park in the first place.

His stock had plummeted after an acrimonious departure from Napoli. The Serie A club’s owner Aurelio De Laurentiis brought an end to his 16-month stay and fired him less than an hour after qualifying for the Champions League knockout round.

Ancelotti

De Laurentiis cited poor domestic form; Napoli were seventh in Serie A, eight points outside the top four and 17 off the summit. His departure came on December 10, 2019 – but just 11 days later, he was sensationally appointed Everton boss.

This was a man who has won 15 major trophies during his career and is one of only three managers to win three European Cups/Champions Leagues – along with Liverpool legend Bob Paisley and Zidane.

Everton were 15th in Premier League and four points outside of the relegation zone when this serial winner became the club’s fourth permanent manager in 21 months.










5:36

Jamie Carragher and Kevin Campbell discuss Everton’s recent struggles in Europe and their ambitions under Carlo Ancelotti

Naturally, there were those who were sceptical about hiring a manager renowned for short spells and instant success in the hotseat at a club that had been in disarray towards the end of Marco Silva’s tenure.

Ancelotti relished the fresh challenge, however, and quickly fell in love with his coastal home, growing a strong affinity with supporters starved of success.

He stabilised Everton in the second half of the 2019/20 season, guiding the club safely away from any relegation trouble while assessing those he wanted to build his side around in a bid to bring European football back in his first full campaign.

Marcel Brands (right) with Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti
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Ancelotti with director of football Marcel Brands

Alongside director of football Marcel Brands, last summer’s recruitment proved to be very fruitful; Ancelotti was reunited with Allan, while Abdoulaye Doucoure was signed for £25m from Watford as the perceived midfield weakness was addressed.

Goalkeeper Robin Olsen was brought in on loan and the Swede has provided good competition for Jordan Pickford, while James Rodriguez was the marquee buy from Real Madrid, a coup with the added bonus of being effectively a free transfer.

While James has blown hot and cold, undermined by niggling injuries, the pick of the bunch has been Ben Godfrey, signed in a £25m deal from Norwich. The versatile defender has become a fans’ favourite and his form was rewarded with a place in Gareth Southgate’s 33-man provisional England squad for Euro 2020.

James Rodriguez looks to make something happen for Everton
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Ancelotti was able to lure James Rodriguez to Everton

Ancelotti’s pulling power most certainly played a part in convincing James to join, and while the club’s hopes of landing players of a similar reputation within the game will naturally dwindle, dissenters will claim Everton were in danger of becoming a semi-retirement home for fallen stars.

Everton were the early-season pace-setters, winning their opening seven games in all competitions. Ancelotti was named manager of the month for September, naturally leading to form falling off, but his side still sat second on Boxing Day.

Key to the improvement on the previous term had been the team’s away form which would end up being the fourth-best in the league – 11 wins on the road was their most in a season since the 1984/85 title winners. But just six wins at home – the 15th worst record in the division – put paid to any European aspirations.

Ancelotti was at times bullet-proof among supporters when results were not materialising at Goodison; his team selection after an away defeat at Newcastle was criticised but the blame was largely placed on the players rather than his tactics when inconsistency became an ever-increasing problem.



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3:08

Highlights from Manchester City’s win over Everton in the Premier League

The manner in which Everton’s results tailed off towards the end of the campaign to finish 10th, leaving fans with an overwhelming sense of disappointment, certainly placed a sour note on what had been an encouraging season.

For Ancelotti, it could well have been a contributing factor in his decision to pull the plug – acutely aware of the size of the task still ahead come the time of his ninth home reverse to rock bottom Sheffield United in May. He seemed worryingly short on answers as to how to rectify it.

The 5-0 demolition at the hands of champions Manchester City on the final day underlined the extent to which the squad requires surgery over the summer, but this isn’t a case of hitting the reset button.

Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has shown he is fully committed to bringing success back to the blue half of Merseyside, none more so than in his pursuit of Ancelotti, the “Hollywood manager” he craved and whose contract was estimated to be worth £11.5m a year.



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0:54

Graeme Sharp believes moving to a bigger stadium will put Everton in a stronger position to attract top players and grow as a club

The billionaire has overseen £500m spent on transfers alone since arriving in February 2016, while the development of a new stadium will cost a further £500m.

While the club’s failure to qualify for European competition will have impacted transfer targets, it was believed that Moshiri was ready to provide Ancelotti the freedom to oversee another summer of heavy spending. There will be no shortage of suitors applying for the position.

Outside of the traditional ‘Big Six’, the Everton managerial role is still one of the biggest and most coveted in English football. The new 52,000-capacity ground at Bramley-Moore Dock in 2024 points towards appointing a manager who can grow alongside a team that is flooded with exciting potential.

Ben Godfrey was solid in defence while Dominic Calvert-Lewin led the line
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Ben Godfrey and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have excelled

Nuno Espirito Santo – who is the frontrunner for the Crystal Palace job – and Eddie Howe have been linked with the vacancy, while West Ham are confident a new three-year contract extension will tempt David Moyes away from a return to his former club.

Rangers manager and ex-Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is another shock name in the frame. Others reportedly being considered include Rafa Benitez, Paulo Fonseca, Erik ten Hag and Roberto Martinez.

After the failure of Ancelotti’s predecessors, his replacement must be an ambitious coach who reflects the club’s image and is fully committed to investing his future in Everton’s long-term vision.

Supporters were under no illusion that becoming Champions League contenders within 18 months was an unrealistic target, but one of Ancelotti’s final interviews pointed towards a man who was in it for the long haul.

“I still believe we are on the right way to fight and compete for the first positions in the Premier League, considering what happened this season,” he said.

“This season confirmed the fact that we were really competitive, above all against the strongest teams in the competition, against United, Liverpool, Chelsea.

PA - Nuno
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Nuno Espirito Santo has already been linked as a replacement

“We got results from those games and that gave confidence to me and to the club for the future. The team has improved, and I am sure of this: the team will be more competitive.”

Ultimately it wasn’t enough to resist Real’s calling card, which has still proven to work when it comes to luring a manager at the Premier League’s 10th-placed club.

While Ancelotti’s time may have ended prematurely, Everton must take with them the progress made during his reign and continue building for a bright future.

‘Ancelotti exit a surprise for Everton’



File photo dated 23-09-2020 of Carlo Ancelotti.








2:46

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor gives an insight into Carlo Ancelotti’s departure from Everton and discusses which candidates the club may look to replace him with.

Analysis from Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor:

“There have been high spots this season for Carlo Ancelotti, he started with seven straight wins in all competitions.

“While they never really rediscovered that kind of consistency they did beat Liverpool for the first time since 1999 which was the start of a three-match winning run which kept them in the hunt for Europe.

“But then they won just three of their remaining 12 league games, including the final home game of the season in front of 6,000 fans at Goodison Park.

“It is a surprise. It was only in the last couple of weeks that Ancelotti was meeting with the board to finalise transfer plans for the coming summer.



Antonio Conte won the Serie A title with Inter Milan this season








0:32

Former Everton striker Kevin Campbell says the club should try to appoint Antonio Conte as successor to Carlo Ancelotti.

“Prior to the end of the season he was questioned about links with Real Madrid and he played those down.

“He made a point throughout his time at Everton about just how welcome he’d been made to feel, how he’d settled well in the area, how he wanted to be a part of the big project, to help deliver success that would ultimately mean he would be the manager to take them into their prospective new stadium.

“Everton are now looking for their sixth permanent manager since David Moyes joined Manchester United in 2013.

“David Moyes is unsurprisingly being linked, he was in line for a return before Fahrad Moshiri appointed Ancelotti, but negotiations with West Ham are well advanced over tying him down to a new deal.

“Nuno Espirito Santo is out of work having left Wolves, Ralf Rangnick is someone who Everton have spoken to before over the manager’s job. Or, is now even the right time for Duncan Ferguson who filled one of Ancelotti’s assistant roles.”

Everton’s summer transfer plans analysed

Moise Kean was also on target for PSG
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Moise Kean wants to prolong his PSG stay

The transfer window opens on June 9 but after seeing early promise fizzle out, what do Everton need to do this summer?

Everton will be looking to provide more cover for Dominic Calvert-Lewin this summer following the limited impact of Josh King after his January move from Bournemouth.

The club will make a decision on the future of forward Moise Kean, whose successful loan spell at Paris Saint-Germain was agreed without an option to buy.

The Merseysiders are keen to prolong goalkeeper Robin Olsen’s stay with his own loan agreement from Roma at an end. The Sweden international deputised well for Jordan Pickford when called upon this season.

Ancelotti had also targeted a successor for club captain Seamus Coleman since last summer, with Norwich right-back Max Aarons on their shortlist and available for around £30m.

Theo Walcott has made a permanent switch to Southampton but Everton will also likely offload Yannick Bolasie this summer to make way for another attacking wide player to provide competition across the forward line.

Ancelotti leaves Everton to re-join Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti has left his role as Everton manager to take up the position of head coach at Real Madrid.

The Everton board will meet on Tuesday night to discuss possible replacements for the departing Italian. They met last week to support the head coach with his plans for next season, however, since then Ancelotti told the club he wanted to leave.

The 61-year-old is to re-join Real Madrid, with the La Liga club having confirmed the appointment on Tuesday evening.

An Everton club statement read: “Everton can confirm that Carlo Ancelotti has left his position as manager to take up the role of Head Coach at Real Madrid.”

“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.”

Ancelotti returns in place of Zinedine Zidane
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Ancelotti has returned to the Bernabeu in place of Zinedine Zidane

Ancelotti, who joined Everton on a four-and-a-half-year contract in December 2019, 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.”

Ancelotti also released a statement on his Twitter account, revealing that he decided to depart Goodison Park for a new challenge at a club that is “always in my heart”.

Real Madrid announced the move in their own statement and confirmed their former boss has been re-appointed on a deal until the end of the 2023/24 season.

It read: “Real Madrid C. F. announces that Carlo Ancelotti will be the club’s first-team coach for the next three seasons.

“The ceremonial signing of the contract will take place tomorrow with club president Florentino Pérez at Real Madrid City, after which Ancelotti will address the media from 6pm (CET) in an online press conference.”

Carlo Ancelotti
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Carlo Ancelotti has returned to the Bernabeu six years after his first tenure came to an end

Ancelotti has returned to the Bernabeu following Zinedine Zidane’s departure. The 48-year-old left after the club failed to win a trophy this season for the first time since the 2009/10 campaign.

The Frenchman said on Monday that he chose to leave because the club “no longer has the faith in me I need”.

It is the second time the former Real midfielder has left his role as manager. In 2018 he departed after winning nine major honours during his first spell, including three Champions Leagues.

The move for Ancelotti – who previously coached Real between 2013 and 2015 – developed quickly, with president Florentino Perez personally leading negotiations following the departure of Zidane.

Ancelotti

During his first spell at the Bernabeu, Ancelotti led Real to victory in the 2014 Champions League final against rivals Atletico Madrid, as well as Copa del Rey, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup glory that year.

However, he was sacked in 2015 after ending the season without a major trophy, after which he went on to coach Bayern Munich and Napoli, before joining Everton.

He steadied the ship at Goodison Park after replacing Marco Silva mid-season, and then oversaw the Toffees’ push for European qualification this campaign.

However, Everton’s season was undermined by their consistently poor home form – they won just six matches in their own stadium in the Premier League – which ultimately saw them finish 10th.

Ancelotti had been linked with a return to Real for several weeks, but dismissed those reports in May as “not true”.

“This is good publicity for me to be linked with Real Madrid but it is not true,” he said. “I am really happy to stay here.

“We have difficulties of course, but I feel good at Everton and my target is to make Everton better and better every year.”



File photo dated 23-09-2020 of Carlo Ancelotti.








2:46

Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor gives an insight into Carlo Ancelotti’s departure from Everton and discusses which candidates the club may look to replace him with

‘Ancelotti exit a surprise for Everton’

Analysis from Sky Sports News reporter Vinny O’Connor…

“There have been high spots this season for Carlo Ancelotti, he started with seven straight wins in all competitions.

“While they never really rediscovered that kind of consistency they did beat Liverpool for the first time since 1999 which was the start of a three-match winning run which kept them in the hunt for Europe.

“But then they won just three of their remaining 12 league games, including the final home game of the season in front of 6,000 fans at Goodison Park.

“That 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on the final day really summed up Everton’s slump from European hopefuls to a 10th-placed finish.

“It is a surprise. It was only in the last couple of weeks that Ancelotti was meeting with the board to finalise transfer plans for the coming summer.

“Prior to the end of the season he was questioned about links with Real Madrid and he played those down.

“He made a point throughout his time at Everton about just how welcome he’d been made to feel, how he’d settled well in the area, how he wanted to be a part of the big project, to help deliver success that would ultimately mean he would be the manager to take them into their prospective new stadium.

“Everton are now looking for their sixth permanent manager since David Moyes joined Manchester United in 2013.

“David Moyes is unsurprisingly being linked, he was in line for a return before Fahrad Moshiri appointed Ancelotti, but negotiations with West Ham are well advanced over tying him down to a new deal.

“Nuno Espirito Santo is out of work having left Wolves, Ralf Rangnick is someone who Everton have spoken to before over the manager’s job. Or, is now even the right time for Duncan Ferguson who filled one of Ancelotti’s assistant roles.”



27 October 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, M'nchengladbach: Football: Champions League, Group stage, Group B, 2nd matchday, Borussia M'nchengladbach - Real Madrid at the stadium in Borussia-Park. Coach Zinedine Zidane (l) of Madrid is standing on the edge of the field. Photo by: Marius Becker/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images








0:28

Spanish football journalist Alvaro Montero says Zinedine Zidane is ‘unpredictable’ after he stepped down as Real Madrid head coach for the second time

Real calling card enough to end Ancelotti project

Analysis from Sky Sports’ Ben Grounds…

There is no escaping the risk that came with Everton appointing a manager of Carlo Ancelotti’s pedigree within the game 18 months ago.

In opting to pursue the Italian over other candidates that included David Moyes, Everton knew the potential for a more illustrious club – especially with a track record of success under his stewardship – expressing an interest should their house need putting back in order.

What will sting for supporters are the words of Ancelotti, just a week after his Crosby family house had been burgled and shortly after he had ended Everton’s 22-year wait for a win at Anfield back in February.

“I would like to be there when the new stadium is opened,” he said. “It will be a good achievement for me. To finish the contract here in 2024 means that you did a good job and when you do a good job the contract will not be stopped in 2024. It will continue. The time I spent here is one year and I have felt really good so I would like to stay as long as possible.”

Carlo Ancelotti signals from the touchline
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Carlo Ancelotti held talks with the club’s hierarchy only last week about summer transfer plans

It is worth remembering how the 61-year-old arrived at Goodison Park in the first place.

His stock had plummeted after an acrimonious departure from Napoli. The Serie A club’s owner Aurelio De Laurentiis brought an end to his 16-month stay and fired him less than an hour after qualifying for the Champions League knockout round.

De Laurentiis cited poor domestic form; Napoli were seventh in Serie A, eight points outside the top four and 17 off the summit. His departure came on December 10, 2019 – but just 11 days later, he was sensationally appointed Everton boss.

This was a man who has won 15 major trophies during his career and is one of only three managers to win three European Cups/Champions Leagues – along with Liverpool legend Bob Paisley and Zidane.

Everton were 15th in Premier League and four points outside of the relegation zone when this serial winner became the club’s fourth permanent manager in 21 months.

Naturally, there were those who were sceptical about hiring a manager renowned for short spells and instant success in the hotseat at a club that had been in disarray towards the end of Marco Silva’s tenure.

Ancelotti relished the fresh challenge, however, and quickly fell in love with his coastal home, growing a strong affinity with supporters starved of success.

He stabilised Everton in the second half of the 2019/20 season, guiding the club safely away from any relegation trouble while assessing those he wanted to build his side around in a bid to bring European football back in his first full campaign.

Zidane: Real Madrid ‘no longer had faith in me’

Zinedine Zidane said on Monday he had stepped down as Real Madrid coach as the club’s hierarchy did not have enough faith in him to rebuild an ageing squad.

Zidane, who returned to Real for a second spell in charge in March 2019, won two La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns during his two stints as coach.

However, he stepped down last week after Real suffered their first trophyless season in 11 years, finishing second in La Liga, being knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals and suffering a humiliating Copa del Rey exit in the round of 32 to third division minnows Alcoyano.

Antonio Conte is being considered as Zidane’s successor at Real after they missed out on first-choice Max Allegri, according to Sky in Italy.

In an open letter published in Spanish sports daily AS, Zidane said the first time he left as coach in 2018 was because he felt the team needed a new approach to stay at the highest level after enjoying so much success.

“Right now, things are different,” he said. “I’m leaving because I feel the club no longer has the faith in me I need, nor the support to build something in the medium or long term.”



Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane gestures on the touchline during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 5, 2021.








1:05

LaLiga TV presenter Semra Hunter discusses whether Zinedine Zidane could one day manage in England following his departure from Real Madrid

Zidane also suggested that his relationship with the club president had changed in recent weeks, and hit out at the series of leaks and stories about his future coming from within Real.

“I would have liked my relationship with the club and the president over the past few months to have been a little different to that of other coaches,” he added.

“I wasn’t asking for privileges, of course not, just a little more recollection.

“It hurt me so much when I read in the press, after a defeat, that I would be sacked if I didn’t win the next game.

“It hurt me and the whole team because these deliberately leaked messages to the media negatively influenced the squad, they created doubts and misunderstandings.”