Zizou for hot seat

MADRID. — Rafa Benitez’s tenure as Real Madrid manager could be coming to an end very soon, with club legend Zinedine Zidane waiting in the wings. According to reports around Europe, the Spanish giants’ patience with Benitez is wearing thin with Real’s Castilla boss Zidane seen as the perfect replacement. Madrid-based papers Marca and AS both lead with this story on their front pages of yesterday’s editions.

Marca’s headline reads “Prepared” as they report that Zidane is “ready to take on the great Real challenge” and isn’t afraid of the idea of taking charge of Real midway through the season.

The publication adds though that despite Zidane’s willingness, Benitez’s stance is that he doesn’t wish to throw in the towel and is haranguing the squad to recover their fighting spirit.

Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Villarreal leaves Real third in La Liga — five points adrift of eternal rivals Barcelona after 15 matches.

And AS point to these standings as a reason why Benitez is increasingly under pressure.

The publication reports that club president Florentino Perez has signalled to Benitez that their results are “far below expectations.” — Mailonline.

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