Real Madrid tried to hijack Coutinho transfer with £177m bid

Real Madrid tried to hijack Coutinho transfer with £177m bid

Real Madrid tried to hijack Coutinho transfer with £177m bid

Their opponents Numancia are more concerned with their promotion push from the Segunda Division and as manager Jagoba Arrasate rested players for last week's first leg, he is likely to make even more changes to his starting eleven with the side trailing by three goals. They have a game in hand, but their hopes of a successful title defence already appear in tatters.

Whilst Zidane's refusal to break from the mould that delivered Los Blancos a first La Liga and Champions League double in 59 years has been questioned, much of the fault also lies at Perez's door.

Numancia striker Guillermo scored a brace at the Santiago Bernabeu as Real Madrid were held 2-2 in the second leg of their last-16 Copa del Rey tie, Zinedine Zidane's side progressing 5-2 on aggregate. "There are always hard times during the season, which is what you're trying to convey, but I don't think like that", he said, according to Real Madrid's official website.

Denis Doyle  GettyImages
Denis Doyle GettyImages

"It is one of the worst situations I've experienced here", added the 29-year-old who has been with the club for over a decade.

Real are worlds adrift of their El Clasico rivals Barcelona, who top the La Liga tree by nine points and sit 16 clear of Zidane's struggling Real. I know the next game is the most important.

Boss Zinedine Zidane was furious with the performance and kept his players in the dressing room for so long that he missed the post-match press conference. "Lately we are not playing regularly".

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"I believe in what we are doing, and my players", Zidane said.

As to whether players who are not performing need to be dropped, and the squad shaken up Zidane was blunt: "You say players aren't great and need to be dropped". Let's see what happens at the end of the season.

Sport report that Madrid president Florentino Perez has already chose to call time on Zidane's reign at the end of the campaign and has held talks with the 45-year-old's replacement. I remember previous year there were no problems like this, as Madrid was doing well, playing well.

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Holders Barcelona host Celta on Thursday after drawing 1-1 in the first leg at Balaidos last week. "Some people may think that everything is always easy for me, that I do everything from instinct, but that's not true!"

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