Real Madrid sack Rafael Benitez, says Spanish daily

Manager out the door after just six months in the job – with Zinedine Zidane poised to take over

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 January, 2016, 1:06am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 January, 2016, 1:06am

Real Madrid have fired manager Rafael Benitez after six months in the job, Spanish sports daily Marca reported on Monday.

The La Liga club’s president Florentino Perez dismissed the Spaniard after an emergency board meeting, with their former player Zinedine Zidane poised to take over, the paper said.

Frenchman Zidane has been in charge of the Real “B” team.

The club declined to comment.

Real are third in the standings, four points behind leaders Atletico Madrid, after suffering three league defeats this season, including a 4-0 home loss to arch-rivals Barcelona.

Madrid twice threw away the lead in drawing 2-2 away to Valencia on Sunday to leave Benitez’s men four points adrift of local rivals Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga. They also trail eternal rivals Barcelona by two points having played a game more.

Benitez, the former Liverpool, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Napoli manager, replaced Italian Carlo Ancelotti in June.

Real have been European champions 10 times and are the most valuable club in the world, according to Forbes magazine.