Rafa Benitez 'to be sacked today' claim Spanish press as Real Madrid board hold meeting
Real Madrid's board of directors are holding a meeting on Monday, with the future of manager Rafa Benitez said to be in the balance.
Spain's Radio Marca have been reporting rumours that the former Liverpool, Inter Milan and Chelsea manager will be fired this afternoon, with an official announcement expected at 6.30pm GMT (7.30pm local time in Madrid).
Those rumours have now been either reinforced or repeated by the rest of the Spanish media, with Marca and AS both claiming that Benitez has gone.
Zinedine Zidane is reportedly to replace him, with Santiago Sori apparently to be the assistant manager.
Benitez has been under fire for months, with Real's poor form and patchy results leading fans to boo his side repeatedly.
On Sunday, Real were held to a 2-2 draw by Gary Neville's Valencia side, Benitez's men having a man sent off as they let slip a 2-1 lead late in the second half.
Radio Marca's own Tweet simply read that the board of directors "is meeting this afternoon. The future of Benitez is up in the air more than ever."
However, the station also retweeted a claim by Spanish journalist Carlos Sanchez Blas that, "Benitez is out of Real Madrid. The club will communicate the news this afternoon, everything is ready for it to be announced at 17:30."
Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague also suggested that the axe will fall on Monday afternoon.
"Rafa's time at Real Madrid is up," he wrote. "It could happen this afternoon."
WILL IT REALLY HAPPEN?
Benitez was strongly rumoured to be in line for the sack after the 4-0 Clasico defeat in November.
At the time, club president Florentino Perez scotched those rumours in unequivocal manner: "Rafa Benitez has our full support and our full confidence ... Rafa has just only started his job here, let him keep working and he will achieve his objective,” he said on November 24.
However, Perez has form in going back on his word. On March 12 last year, he said that, "Carlo Ancelotti will continue, no matter what happens."
Just a few weeks later, the well-liked Italian was fired.