Spain manager Julen Lopetegui could leave his position two days before La Furia Roja start their World Cup campaign, after Real Madrid announced him as their new manager on Wednesday.
Lopetegui and RFEF president Luis Rubiales are set to speak to the media on Wednesday morning and rumours abound that they will announce his departure, with Albert Celades and Fernando Hierro likely to step in if so.
Seems quite possible that Rubiales / Lopetegui press conference in about an hour will be to announce Spain will have a different coach on bench v Portugal on Friday. Hierro and Celades candidates to step in.
— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) June 13, 2018
Madrid were not planning to make the announcement until after the World Cup but word quickly spread throughout the Spain squad and Madrid made the announcement in an attempt to prevent unrest.
But it looks set to backfire drastically as Spain could find themselves without a permanent manager on the eve of the World Cup.
Their campaign gets underway against Portugal on Friday and they are considered among the favourites to win the tournament.
According to Radio Marca the six Real Madrid players in Spain squad knew the news about Lopetegui and then one non-Madrid player got wind of it so Lopetegui was worried news was spread, he told Madrid and so they made it public immediately to prevent unrest.
— Richard Martin (@Rich9908) June 12, 2018
Rubiales is reportedly furious with Lopetegui for telling Real to announce the news, though he maintained a placid facade upon his arrival at Spain’s Krasnodar base.
“This is not the time to talk, but we will make the decision that best suits the squad, we will do things responsibly,” he said, as quoted by Marca.
Lopetegui took charge of Spain after their last 16 exit at Euro 2016 and guided them to an unbeaten qualifying campaign.
This is already chaos but if Lopetegui is going – all signs point towards him doing so in the next hour – it’s an absolute disaster for Spain.
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) June 13, 2018
He will step into big shoes at Real Madrid, after Zinedine Zidane stepped down from the post following three consecutive Champions League triumphs.
SOURCE: 90 MIN