Real Madrid have confirmed the exit of manager Julen Lopetegui, a mere four months removed from his appointment.
The 52-year-old was hired by Los Blancos following Zinedine Zidane’s departure in the summer, an appointment which caused Lopetegui to be released from his post as Spain manager on the eve of the 2018 World Cup.
His short tenure with Los Blancos is now over after a dreadful start to the season, which culminated in a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Barcelona on Sunday.
“The Board of Directors of Real Madrid CF, meeting today October 29, 2018, has agreed to terminate the contract that linked coach Julen Lopetegui with the club,” Real announced via their official website on Monday.
“This decision, adopted from the highest level of responsibility, aims to change the dynamics of the first team, when all the objectives of this season are still achievable.
“The Board of Directors understands that there is a great disproportion between the quality of the staff of Real Madrid, which has 8 players nominated for the next Golden Ball, something unprecedented in the history of the club, and the results obtained to date.
“The club thanks Julen Lopetegui and all his technical team for their effort and work and wishes them the best in their professional career. It will be provisionally replaced by Santiago Solari, who will lead the first team starting tomorrow, Tuesday.”
Lopetegui’s time at the helm saw the club start the 2018/19 La Liga campaign with four wins, two draws and four losses, with the club sat in ninth place in the table after the reverse at the hands of rivals Barcelona.
Castilla boss Santiago Solari has been promoted and will fill the post for the time being, with talks with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte having stalled or, by some reports, broken off altogether.