CHELSEA’s bid to sign Karim Benzema sparked Zinedine Zidane’s exit from Real Madrid, it has been claimed.
Zidane announced today that he has quit Real Madrid after two-and-a-half seasons in charge of the first team.
He was under pressure as a result of a poor La Liga campaign but the Champions League triumph against Liverpool ensured it was a successful season.
Zidane revealed at his press conference that the team need a change of leadership.
But, according to Don Balon, it is Zidane’s unhappiness with the club’s transfer policy that led to his decision to leave.
The Spanish publication claim Real Madrid president Florentino Perez agreed to the Frenchman’s request to sign Eden Hazard from Chelsea.
But the Premier League outfit reportedly asked for Benzema in part-exchange.
Don Balon say Perez told Chelsea that he was willing to throw the 30-year-old into the deal, which angered Zidane.
The 30-year-old struggled for goals this term but Zidane is a big fan of his compatriot’s all-round play.
Perez refused to change his mind or give his head coach a greater say in potential signings.
And Don Balon claim that prompted Zidane to quit.
Zidane claimed at a hastily-arranged press conference that Real Madrid’s need for fresh leadership prompted him to resign.
He said: “I’ve taken the decision to not continue next year as Real Madrid coach.
“The decision was first to Florentino, then to the squad it was a strange decision but an important moment, it had to be done for everybody.
“This team has to continue winning and has to change, after three years they need a new voice a new way of saying things, perhaps a new way of working.
“I love this club, I love the president who has given me the chance to come as a player and then a manager and I am eternally grateful to him.
“But today, we have to change and that is why I am taking this decision.”
A stunned Perez admitted Zidane’s decision was “unexpected”.
“I want to thank him for his commitment and passion to Real Madrid.
“His behaviour has always been an example for all and representative of Real.
“I don’t want this to be a goodbye but a ‘see you soon’.
“I have no doubt he will come back soon.”