Yesterday news reports began to emerge from Spain that Zinedine Zidane had called a snap press conference. Speculation was rife on what it all meant but come midday all soon became clear. The Frenchman having won three Champions League trophies in his three seasons at the helm of the Bernabeu had decided it was time to depart from his managerial duties.
Zinedine Zidane has resigned as #RealMadrid coach
After 2 and a half seasons and 9 trophies, he leaves without ever being knocked out of the Champions League 👑
— Football INDEX (@FootballIndexUK) May 31, 2018
The news was nothing short of a bombshell from Spain and Zidane was quickly trending on social media all over the world, but what did the news mean for traders on Football INDEX? In theory nothing changed as you cannot purchase shares in managers but when such news breaks it of course creates an abundance of additional questions. What does it mean for existing players? Who will come into replace Zidane? Who looks more likely to leave? Who looks more likely to join?
This breaking news sent traders into a frenzy with one player in particular proving rather volatile, a certain Gareth Bale. At the climax of the Champions League final, the Welshman wasn’t shy in putting forward his frustrations about not having enough playing time under Zinedine Zidane and that he and his agent Jonathan Barnett would be sitting down for a serious conversation over the summer. This saw the Madrid number 11 rocket up to the £8 marker from lows of £5.40 on Saturday evening, as speculation intensified about whether Bale could leave for following his overhead heroics versus Liverpool. But with the news yesterday, the potential roadblock to the Madrid starting eleven has now been removed. Meaning there could be more likelihood of the Welshman remaining and this angle seemed to resonate as Bale dropped back down to his current cost of £5.78. It remains to be seen what will happen with Bale’s future but Zidane’s resignation undoubtedly helps him.
So #Lewandowski reportedly wants a "new challenge"
— Football INDEX (@FootballIndexUK) May 30, 2018
The next couple of questions about which players could join and leave seem to centre around the number nine role. Karim Benzema (£1.21) was one of the first names on Zidane’s team sheet to act as the support for Cristiano Ronaldo (£8.48) but his return of just five goals in La Liga was extremely poor this season and links with Bayern Munich’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski (£3.58) were intensified yesterday with his agents remarks that he wants to leave the Bundesliga champions for a new challenge, prior to Zidane’s announcement. With the Frenchman’s resignation, it surely marks the end for his fellow countryman from Los Blancos. Where could Benzema end up? Well if Arsene Wenger gets the job he may not go anywhere, having been linked with him every summer seemingly whilst in charge of Arsenal. Whilst for Lewandowski he is a Rolls Royce upgrade on Benzema, but will he rub Cristiano Ronaldo up the wrong way?
Finally, it didn’t take long for the links of new managers to appear with Arsene Wenger, Antonio Conte and Maurizio Sarri all heavily linked. Who will take charge and what impact could they have on traders?