Reports: Zinedine Zidane to sign long-term contract extension with Real Madrid
What’s the story?
Real Madrid are all set to offer their manager, Zinedine Zidane, a contract extension at the end of this season, according to a report in Spanish daily, Marca. Los Blancos President Florentino Perez is desperate to hold on to the Frenchman and has reportedly offered him a contract extension with a view to keeping Zidane as manager until the year 2020.
Zinedine Zidane took over a Real Madrid side in crisis after Rafa Benitez was sacked midway through the 2015/16 season. He then oversaw a remarkable turnaround in the space of a few months, guiding Real Madrid to a morale-boosting win over Barcelona in El Clasico and then picking up the UEFA Champions League title.
The heart of the matter
This season has all been about records for Zidane – he’s been the architect of a Real Madrid side that has broken the all-time unbeaten record of a Spanish side, with Los Blancos also in the midst of the best ever consecutive scoring run by any club in Europe’s Top 5 Leagues (all competitions).
The calming aura that the Frenchman brings to Real Madrid has resulted in tremendous squad harmony, despite some incredibly talented players being stuck on the bench for most of the season. Zidane’s intelligent rotation has seen Los Blancos reach the UEFA Champions League final for a second successive season, and also be in pole position to win La Liga – the chance of a historic European Cup and league double
According to the report, Florentino Perez has been impressed by the manner in which Zidane has managed the egos in Real Madrid’s dressing room, and will be offering the Frenchman a contract that will keep him at the club until June 30, 2020 – even if Real Madrid end up trophyless. Zidane, who has been evasive about his future throughout the season, will wait until the end of the season before signing the deal, as he wants to ensure Real Madrid win a trophy before he signs.
A club like Real Madrid will understandably want to tie down a successful manager to a long-term deal, although Florentino Perez would do well to remember parallels with Jose Mourinho.
Zinedine Zidane is a massively underrated manager, as his inexperience has counted against him in the eyes of many a pundit. Creating UEFA Champions League history and a historic double – the first since 1958 – would go a long way to silencing his doubters.