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By Guillem Balague
Spanish football writer
At the media launch of a TV series about himself , Sergio Ramos joked with journalists:”I have more seasons today with Amazon than I do with Real Madrid.”
The Spain centre-back has two years left on his deal in the Bernabeu but his club aren’t looking to rekindle it.
And while Ramos has been a continuous presence at Real for 14 decades, the uncertainty surrounding his prospective adds to the rising feeling of uncertainty around a club which has won four of the past six Champions Leagues.
Since Zinedine Zidane returned manager to the conclusion of last season, his triumph percentage is under 50 percent and there’s been little to indicate improvement since the beginning of this season.
Actual still look unsettled and they are still inconsistent, stressing signs as they enter a two week-period where they will confront Paris St-Germain from the Champions League, as well as leaders Ateltico Madrid and Champions League qualifiers Sevilla at La Liga.
Moments such as these are not anything new at Real Madrid, a perennial soap opera providing tales of intrigue, conspiracy and fire and never failing to serve up one cliff-hanger after the other, both on and off the pitch.
But as the perennial winners of Europe get their newest European effort , is and that is there a danger the Frenchman might not even be that come the next Champions League final?
Zidane composed himself out of this Real Madrid storyline when he stopped after finally winning the Champions League in the conclusion of the 2017-18 year – his third title in a row. He believed that he wasn’t likely to receive and there were adjustments.
He might have chosen this period of self-imposed footballing exile as a chance to reflect as a coach and a player. He likely did not encounter the words of poet Felix Dennis:
Never go back. Never go back.
Never surrender the future you’ve earned.
Keep to the track, to the beaten track.
Never go back to the bridges you’ve burned.
Nor did he take advice. In Marchhe returned in the request of president Florentino Perez, who had tried to lure Mauricio Pochettino from Tottenham and the unemployed former Chelsea director Antonio Conte.
Zidane took the job before the end of last season because they informed him if he did not, Jose Mourinho would be the preferred one (more on this later). He was also promised he would be in determining that left and who arrived in a major participant. And there could be a lot of changes.
There needed to be. Zidane’s final Champions League success flattered to deceive in a year when his side finished 17 points behind La Liga winners Barcelona.
But things have not improved. Since coming back, he’s won seven of 15 league games, a win rate of 46.7 percent. Santiago Solari, the man he replaced, won 22 out of 32 games in charge, a win rate of 68.8 percent. That was substantially higher than Zidane’s although not large enough to make the president’s confidence and also the Argentine was ignored after only four.
A summer signing who found himself sidelined before kicking a ball to the club, key injuries to players such as Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio and their part , have played .
But have the changeable tactics of Zidane.
Looks to have hit the floor running. Luka Jovic – that arrived from Eintracht Frankfurt – hasn’t looked like he has the quality to be a automatic starter. At least not at Zidane’s opinion, who replaced him after 68 minutes with midfielder Luka Modric and then has started him.
Real additionally signed some kids for big money – Eder Militao, 21, (Number 42.7m Porto) and 18-year-old ahead Rodrygo (#40.2m from Santos). The latter was injured since pre-season, although the former has to attribute.
His trump card at Real Madrid has always been the connection he has loved with his or her players, although zidane hasn’t been regarded as a Einstein as a coach. It is perceived by many as a peaceful, harmonious co-existence.
But there are.
The 47-year-old hasn’t endeared himself to many of the Madrid loyal in determining who should stay and that should proceed. They will see the selling to the nephew of the Gento Atletico of Marcos Llorente and a Blanco into the bone.
They’ll likewise be unimpressed with all the loaning from Sevilla of Reguilon, yet another product of this La Fabrica academy who would have slotted to the place maintained by Marcelo, that was 11kg over his optimum weight last season and was fighting on that front ever since. And then there was the loan death of Dani Ceballos, who may certainly do a job for the club from midfield, to Arsenal.
Zidane’s obsession with earning compatriot Paul Pogba hasn’t been fairly to watch, not since Manchester United never had any intention of promoting him Perez never seemed that keen on really buying the 26-year-old.
The club had agreed conditions with Ajax’s Donny van Beek and Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, since Pogba was the midfielder he 30, but the moves ceased.
The truth is that the team as well as Zidane were expecting to sell Gareth Bale Isco and James Rodriguez, however, no offers were coming. For all, his usage of those players is little more than a stick he’s using to beat the president with by saying, essentially:”You did not get me the player I needed now I will need to utilize the players you desired ”
Bizarrely, Bale’s lack of connection with the manager has provoked precisely the sort of response that Zidane could have hoped , with all the Wales forward putting in some”I will show you” performances which have attracted both goals and one assist in three games. The drawback is the fact that it has also earned him a red card – thanks to two yellows accumulated in less than two minutes – plus a one-match ban.
And the decision of the club was never something Zidane desired.
The general view in the Bernabeu is that the connection between Zidane and Perez isn’t the best. A division between them has been created by their differences around Pogba and Navas, from the club’s failure to eliminate players that the Frenchman did not desire, and from the confusion over approaches – with the group lining up for a single match with three at the rear, the following in a 4-3-3 set up and yet another as a 4-4-2.
Perez is frustrated in the lack of match time for a few big-money signings as well as for the very first time in a while, the president believes he’s not in complete control as he would like, and the supervisor is not performing.
Zidane can’t be happy now finding himself combined with gamers.
As a consequence, the Madrid media close to Perez have begun to make mischief together with all criticisms of the trainer.
When that happens, Zidane must know things can occur.
The title of Mourinho, that has rejected at least one offer from China, has inevitably to the actual job.
At the end of 2015 as Rafael Benitez was struggling to win hearts and minds in the Bernabeu and earlier Mourinho joined Manchester United, Perez spoke to him with a view to discussing a return to the club.
Iker Casillas, one of the thorns in the face of the Portuguese mentor, was already gone. The goalkeeper was a lamb, unceremoniously given off to Porto following a profession that had, until then, been committed to two sides – his country and his team.
Only two problems remained: Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo, the 2 players Mourinho blamed for his death.
Eliminate them, he advised Perez, and we could speak.
Ronaldo is currently at Juventus. One down, one to go.
I would not wager much on Ramos receiving a contract extension anytime soon.
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