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Real Madrid appoints Julen Lopetegui as coach

12 June 2018

Lopetegui will put to pen to paper on a three-year deal at the Bernabéu running until 2021, the club confirmed.

The former Porto boss, who also coached a trio of Spain's youth teams, featured just once for Real Madrid during his playing career, which also involved stints at Castilla, Las Palmas, Logrones, Rayo Vallecano and rivals Barcelona. And as they had hoped, the European champions have announced the Frenchman's successor ahead of this summer's World Cup.

According to the same story, Zinedine Zidane's decision to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season has heightened Bale's chances of staying at the club.

Real, who are now without a manager following Zinedine Zidane's shock departure earlier this month, are ready for a summer shake-up.

"It has been surprising for everybody, but to be honest the three names who had been linked - Pochetitno, Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte - for different reasons they didn't fit the agenda", Balague said.

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"Real Madrid C.F. announces that Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of the first team during the next three seasons".

He has agreed a three-year deal with the European champions and will officially take charge after the World Cup in Russian Federation.

Spain begin their World Cup campaign against Ronaldo's Portugal on Friday in a match live on BBC One (19:00 BST kick-off). Again, far from ideal.

He then succeeded mentor Vicente Del Bosque in the Spain job following La Roja's early exit at Euro 2016. At the very highest level, however, he is still somewhat untried.

"Julen Lopetegui will be the Real Madrid coach after the celebration of the 2018 World Cup", the club's statement said.

Real Madrid appoints Julen Lopetegui as coach