Napoli coach Rafael Benitez is “99%” certain to be named the next manager of Real Madrid, according to Carlo Ancelotti’s agent Ernesto Bronzetti.
Yesterday, Ancelotti was sacked by the club following a meeting of the Madrid’s board of directors, with the official announcement coming during a press conference held by president Florentino Perez.
“The affection that the players and fans have for Carlo is the same as the affection I myself have for him,” Perez told the gathering. “What did Ancelotti do wrong? I don’t know. The demands here at Real Madrid are very high.
“Next week, we will know the name of the new manager of Real Madrid. With our great team, talent and hard work, we will be able to give satisfaction and happiness to our fans and members.”
While Ancelotti’s sacking was made official on Monday, it is understood that the Italian’s agent was informed that the 55-year-old would have his contract terminated late last week.
Speculation is that Rafa Benitez, who started his managerial career with Real Madrid’s reserve side, has been in contract with officials at the Bernabeu and will become the club’s ninth coach in thirteen years.
During an interview with Italian television, Carlo Ancelotti’s agent said he expects Benitez to be named Real Madrid boss.
“Benitez is 99% sure to go to Real,” Ernesto Bronzetti told Rai Sport.
Bronzetti went on to say that his client’s plan is to take a year off from management, despite a reported opportunity to take over AC Milan.
“As of right now, Ancelotti wants to take a year’s break,” the agent said. “That’s his intention. At Real Madrid you can be sacked if you don’t win any trophies in a season.’
Ancelotti assumed control of Madrid in June 2013 and led the team through the best calendar year in club history. In 2014, his players won the Copa del Rey, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
However, the second half of this season saw the team knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Atletico Madrid, crash out of the Champions League at the hands of Juventus while being trumped by Barcelona to the La Liga title.
Real Madrid were beset by key injuries, poor form and player/fan unrest since the turn of the New Year and Ancelotti took the hit for the team’s collapse; even though some feel club president Florentino Perez should share the blame for the club’s failure.