17 May 2021: Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane denies claims of his resignation
In a major development, Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has fended off the speculations of his exit.
On Sunday, it was reported that Zidane will leave the club at the end of this season, and he has already informed the players about his plans.
However, the recent statement of Zidane following his side's 1-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao rubbishes these reports.
Here is more.
Statement: I will never say that to my players: Zidane
"How could I tell the players I am leaving now? We are giving our everything for the title and I just say 'by the way, I am off'?" Zidane said after the match.
"People outside the club can say whatever they like, but I would never, ever say that to my players. There is a game left and we are going to give everything."
Developments: It was reported that players knew about his impending exit
According to several reports, Zidane had informed the players about his decision to depart prior to the game against Sevilla that resulted in a 2-2 draw.
Notably, the Champions League elimination of Real Madrid by Chelsea at the semi-final stage was believed to be the reason behind his exit.
His mental fatigue was also mentioned as the possible reason.
Stint: A second stint at Real Madrid
This is Zidane's second stint as manager at Real Madrid.
He helped the side win three consecutive Champions League titles from 2016 to 2018 before leaving.
He rejoined the club in March 2019 on an urgent basis after Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari failed to get the desired results as managers of Real.
In July 2020, Real won the La Liga title under Zidane.
Fact: Likely replacements for Zidane
Although there was no official confirmation on Zidane's exit, various reports on his likely replacements started to surface. Former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, Real Madrid Castilla manager Raul Gonzalez, and Germany's coach Joachim Loew are the front-runners in the race.
Title: Zidane eyes his third La Liga title
As of now, Zidane has a contract with Real Madrid until 2022.
And he is still in pursuit of another La Liga title as Real remain the contenders.
Their 1-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao keeps them two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid (83).
The two sides head into the final matchday, when Real host Villarreal, and Atletico travel to Valladolid.
Also see: La Liga, Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0: Records broken
Zidane to leave Real Madrid: Here are his likely replacements
Zinedine Zidane set to leave Real Madrid: Details here
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