Real Madrid hope to appoint Carlo Ancelotti’s successor next week after sacking the Italian on Monday – just over a year to the day since he guided them to their 10th European Cup success.
Ancelotti guided Real to an extra-time Champions League final victory over city rivals Atletico last May which earned them a record-extending ’La Decima’, but he was relieved of his duties after a disappointing second campaign in charge at the Bernabeu.
The 55-year-old Italian has been shown the door after Real finished runners-up to Barcelona in the Primera Division and lost to Juventus in the semi-finals of the Champions League during a campaign that yielded no major silverware.
Club president Florentino Perez held a meeting with Ancelotti on Monday afternoon where he told the former AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris St Germain boss, who had one year left on his contract, that his services were no longer required.
“I would like to inform you that the board has taken the decision to relieve Carlo Ancelotti of his post as Real Madrid coach,” Perez said at a press conference.
“It was a very difficult decision to make; the demands at this club are the utmost because Madrid always wants to win silverware.
“The affection that the players and the fans have for Carlo is the same as the affection I myself have for him.
“What did Ancelotti do wrong? I don’t know. The demands here at Real Madrid are very high.”
Perez has now presided over nine managerial sackings in 12 years in charge and reports suggest he will turn to former Real Madrid reserve team manager and current Napoli boss Rafael Benitez to fill the void left by Ancelotti’s departure.
Any move for the former Liverpool, Valencia and Inter Milan coach is only likely to materialise once the Serie A season ends on Sunday, but Benitez has previously spoken of his wish to manage Los Blancos, calling the club his “sweetheart” while he was in interim charge of Chelsea in 2013.
Other options include outgoing Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp and current Real reserve boss Zinedine Zidane and Perez hopes to confirm a replacement in a matter of days.
“With our great team, talent and hard work, we will be able to give satisfaction and happiness to our fans and our members,” he added.
“I want to publicly say thank you to Carlo Ancelotti for these two years, for his hard work and all his affection, and tell him this is still his house and his home.
“Next week, we will know the name of the new manager of Real Madrid.”