rafa set for real
Former Liverpool boss "99% sure" to take over at Madrid
REAL Madrid will turn to former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez as their saviour after Carlo Ancelotti was axed yesterday.
Despite winning the Champions League in his debut season there, and in spite of the fact that he had a year left on his Real contract, Ancelotti has paid the price for failures in that competition and La Liga this season and has been sacked due to what club president Florentino Pérez describes as the "high demands" at Real.
Benitez is still in charge of Napoli and Real will have to wait until the conclusion of the Italian league season next weekend before they can announce him as Ancelotti's replacement but Benitez's agent says it's a done deal. With one game to go, Napoli are fourth in the league table but need a miracle to win a Champions League place.
"Benitez is 99% sure to go to Real," said Ernesto Bronzetti, Ancelotti's agent. Ancelotti said he's already had offers "from Italy, England and Germany" but he plans to take a year away from the game as he needs surgery to overcome a long-standing back problem.
Real supremo Perez said last night that the new boss will be confirmed shortly. "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 our members," he said.
Ex-Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo is also on the market as he left Schalke today.