There is change in the pipeline for Real Madrid, with ramifications of possible key departures surrounding their two key figures.
Zidane, despite leading Real Madrid to the La Liga title last season with Sergio Ramos continuing to play a key role, is now feeling the intense heat. And, oddly, the captain has yet to sign a contract extension beyond the end of this season.
Gibson believes the two could leave in the summer, adding on the Transfer Talk Podcast:
“I don’t think Real Madrid will rush into a change now but I think Zidane will be moved on at the end of the season. They won the league last season but the fan mood is that this should be his last season as coach.
“It has irritated the fans and the Madrid media that they have lost some good players due to the fact Zidane is so loyal and faithful to the older group. All of a sudden, Zidane puts in a group of players in the Copa del Rey that have barely played this season. Marcelo, Eder Militao, Isco came in but have barely played.
“Federico Valverde has made a real impact as a box-to-box player but has been jettisoned. Vinicius has drifted away from the starting XI. Obviously they shouldn’t be losing to minnows Alcoyano but the players weren’t match fit and then they were desperately scrambling to throw in the big guns at the end. It doesn’t in any way reflect well on Zidane.
“Could this be Ramos’ final season too? I’m going to be bold and say yes. I think there’s going to be a changing of the guard at Real Madrid and I think it will be a common theme that the legends don’t see out their career at the Bernabeu.
The Real Madrid hierarchy apparently will not sack Zidane despite the club’s ’embarrassing’ Copa del Rey last-32 defeat by third division side Alcoyano, says Spanish journalist Alvaro Montero.
“Ramos is in great shape – he looks like the player of 10 years ago. He’s the leader on the pitch and off it. He will be a massive loss. But everyone concerned with Real Madrid is getting slightly bored with the old guard – they want change, new players given opportunities and I think Sergio Ramos could be a casualty of this attitude
“As opposed to him leading a new cycle, I think he could be allowed to move on because they won’t offer him a two-year deal. Any big club in Europe dismissing him because of his age, my advice would be don’t. He’s playing as well as ever and has another 100 or so games in him at the top level, I believe.”