Report: Real Madrid Planning for Zinedine Zidane Exit; Allegri, Raul on Shortlist

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 16, 2021

GRANADA, SPAIN - MAY 13: coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid  during the La Liga Santander  match between Granada v Real Madrid at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on May 13, 2021 in Granada Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Zinedine Zidane's future at Real Madrid is up in the air. 

According to ESPN's Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez, "sources say the feeling among the squad is that Zidane is likely to depart."

If he resigns from his managerial post, Los Blancos are reportedly "considering Massimiliano Allegri and club legend Raul" as Zidane replacements. 

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez is also reportedly being considered for the post should Zidane depart. 

"There are moments when you have to stay, and others when you have to go," Zidane told reporters Saturday, further fueling rumors that he might be on his way out.

Radio station Onda Cero previously reported that Zidane already told Real Madrid's players he would be moving on after the season, while Kirkland and Faez reported that "it was not left 'very clear' to multiple players that a definitive decision had been made."

But Zidane disputed Sunday that he's told his players anything about his future:

Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomano

Zinedine Zidane: “How can I tell my players that I'm leaving the club at this stage of the season? I’ve not said anything to my players about my future”. ⚪️ #RealMadrid<br><br>Florentino is waiting for Zidane ‘official’ decision too, while Real contacted other managers to be prepared.

Zidane, 48, has served as Real Madrid's manager in two different stints (2016-18; 2019-present), leading the club to two Premier League titles and three Champions League triumphs. 

His first departure came as a shock move, coming off the heels of the team's third consecutive European conquest. 

“I know it is a bit of a strange moment but I think it is the right moment," he told reporters at that time. "This is a team that should keep on winning and it needs a change for that. After three years, it needs another discourse, another working methodology, and that’s why I took this decision.”

“There are complicated moments in the season when you ask: ‘Am I still the right person?' I don’t forget the hard moments too," he added in 2018. "There are lovely moments and we ended with a spectacular moment but there are hard moments that make you reflect."

It's fair to question if Zidane is currently mulling over those hard moments yet again.

While he decides, there's the matter of finishing out La Liga's season. Real Madrid is in the thick of the title race, trailing Atletico Madrid by two points with just one matchday remaining.