Massive news broke yesterday afternoon from the Spanish capital with the announcement from Real Madrid that they had dismissed manager Santiago Solari and brought about the return of the previously departed Zinedine Zidane to once again take over the helm until 2022. The former galactico had enjoyed a stellar first spell in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu with a La Liga title, a Supercopa de Espana, Uefa Super Cup, Fifa World Club Cup Twice and of course a hat-trick of Champions League trophies, not bad for a spell of just two and a half years. In fact it amounted to a trophy just over every ninety days in charge! When the French manager departed in the aftermath of the Champions League victory and departure of Cristiano Ronaldo (£7.00) to Juventus, Los Blancos fans could never have imagined the demise of the 13 times European winners this season. In fact all this seasons performance has done under first Julien Lopetegui and then Santiago Solari has shown that Zidane had the foresight to foretell what was coming and most importantly enhanced his reputation. It is therefore little surprise that the Real Madrid hierarchy has turned to Zidane following the humiliating 4-1 defeat at home to Ajax in the second round of the Champions League. But what challenges and key decisions will Zidane have to take on board and more importantly what does it all mean for traders on the Football Index?
One of the supposed main reasons for Zidane wishing to leave was the shocking transfer of goal scoring icon Cristiano Ronaldo to Italian champions Juventus who had been so fundamental for Los Blancos since his transfer in 2009 from Manchester United. It was reported that Zidane was worried where the goals would now come from in the aging squad and he has been proven correct with Karim Benzema (£1.83) and the summer transfer of Mariano Diaz (£1.51) from Lyon failing to replace the goals that Ronaldo brought to the Spanish capital. As a consequence of Zidane returning to the Bernabeu he has surely made it clear to Florentino Perez that he needs to get his cheque book out in the summer. This has seen reports from Spanish media already stating that Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (£13.30) has agreed terms with Real Madrid meaning only a fee would have to be reached with Chelsea, this rumour was always strong when Zidane was at the club in the past and only took a matter of hours to get going once again! Then of course we have the constant links to Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar (£21.81). The Parisians too were dumped out of the Champions League last week thanks to the VAR controversy of Marcus Rashford’s (£12.93) stoppage time penalty for Manchester United. The return of Zizou is surely going to ramp up the medias interest once more with the clamour for big names.
But what may happen to some of the existing squad? It is no secret that Welsh superstar Gareth Bale (£7.31) and Zidane were not the best of friends, with the French manager regularly benching Bale and limiting his performances to cameos. In fact if you can cast your mind back to the Champions League final against Liverpool, Bale came off the bench to inspire Real Madrid with his amazing overhead kick and then long range second to lift the trophy and then immediately in the press conferences he was stating his anger at not starting! The media hype swiftly died down with Ronaldo and Zidane leaving but having had a stop start injury hit season once more will he be featuring in Zidane’s plans at all? Traders seem to think not with his price rising £0.19 in the last twenty four hours in the hope of increasing speculation of a move away. The main reason that Bale used to be on the bench so much in Zidane’s tenure was the form of Spaniard Isco (£5.13). The Spanish number 10 has been marginalised under both managers this season and a transfer away looked increasingly likely, yet the return of Zidane has surely stopped this. It is little surprise therefore that his price has dropped a little since the announcement, down by £0.36 a share, with his game time looking set to increase significantly. Will he be the star man once more and start bring home Match Day Dividends?
There is certainly a lot for traders to consider but one thing is for sure the news had ripples on the Index!