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Zinedine Zidane’s future in doubt as Real Madrid call unscheduled press conference

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane looks set to clarify his position at the Bernabeu after calling a press conference in the Spanish capital for Thursday afternoon.

The 45-year-old Frenchman led Real to their fourth Champions League trophy in five years – and third under his management – by masterminding victory over Liverpool in Kiev on Saturday, but Los Blancos could only finish third in LaLiga.

Speculation about Zidane’s long-term future persists and it appears that uncertainty might be addressed as, on Thursday morning, the club posted a website statement which said the boss would speak to the media at 1pm local time (12pm BST).

Zidane, the former Real, Juventus and Bordeaux midfielder, is understood to be under contract in Madrid until 2020.

Stepping up from managing the ‘Castilla’ B team, he replaced Rafael Benitez in January 2016 and although Real were runners-up to Barcelona at the end of the league campaign, he toasted European glory as city rivals Atletico Madrid were vanquished after a penalty shootout in Milan.

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Zidane followed up his maiden Champions League crown as a coach with a LaLiga title and in June 2017 his side delivered a more emphatic European Cup final triumph as his former employers Juve were humbled 4-1 in Cardiff.

Although Real lost only two of their first 15 league matches in the recently concluded Spanish championship, Ernesto Valverde’s Barca were able to run away with the league following their vital 3-0 El Clasico win at the Bernabeu in December.

Zidane did stabilise results and duly blazed a trail to Kiev in the continental competition, but reports of dissatisfaction with his approach to domestic matters – namely the handling of star forward Gareth Bale, who has publicly expressed his own unhappiness with a reduced role – meant for regular reports of a potential summer exit.

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