Several days have now passed since Zinedine Zidane announced his shock resignation as Real Madrid manager, but it doesn’t seem any more real.
Zidane stepped down from the role he has held since January 2016, only days after winning his third consecutive Champions League title for Los Blancos with a 3-1 win against Liverpool.
It means that he has yet to be knocked out of the competition as a manager, and there is absolutely no doubt that his signature will be one of the most coveted in Europe when the right jobs become available.
However, his side’s poor form domestically this year has been too poor to ignore, surrendering the La Liga title they won last year by 17 points to Barcelona.
They also finished below city rivals Atletico, and suffered a shock defeat in the Copa Del Rey when they were knocked out by Leganes.
That being said, for years managers of the Bernabeu club have been put under pressure for failing in Europe, whereas Zidane has had the completely opposite issue.
He will remain a legend at the club though, and in fairness it is always better to go out at the top than wait for things to start going wrong.
Strangely though, the reasons behind the Frenchman’s departure from Madrid have absolutely nothing to do with performances, according to the Sun anyway.
They believe that it was a disagreement with president Florentino Perez over potential transfer targets that caused the irrepairable damage in their relationship, leading to Zidane tendering his resignation.
And it was in fact two Premier League stars that they couldn’t see eye-to-eye on.
The Sun have claimed that David De Gea and Eden Hazard are the two men at the centre of the fall-out.
Perez was keen to bring De Gea to the Bernabeu from Manchester United, as he famously almost did a few years ago, but Zidane wanted to keep faith in Keylor Navas.
On the other hand, Hazard was a target for the manager, but Perez wasn’t keen at all on the Chelsea and Belgium winger.
Apparently, the debate raged back and forth, before Zidane finally said: “I am done. You take care of the team.”
So it may be good news for Chelsea fans that Zidane has left, while the news that Perez is still very sweet on De Gea won’t be pleasing for United or Navas.
It’s hugely unfortunate that such a successful tenure has been ended by a transfer disagreement, especially as the 45-year-old has been brilliant in giving players from the academy a chance at Los Blancos.
Perez has been very influential in transfer dealings before though, particularly over players like Luis Figo, Ronaldo and Zidane himself, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon.