A string of major bookmakers have suspended betting on who will be the next manager of Real Madrid having seemingly priced up the market all wrong.
Jose Mourinho had been the odds-on favourite to succeed struggling Santiago Solari, with Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino and Juventus manager Max Allegri the second and third favourites.
However, Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague sensationally reported on Monday that in fact Zinedine Zidane – who won three consecutive Champions League titles during his first spell as manager – is set for an imminent return to the Bernabeu.
The move caught the bookies out, with Zidane quickly backed in to 1/25 to be the club’s next manager, but major bookmakers William Hill, BetVictor, Coral and others soon pulled the plug on a market which caught the traders by surprise.
| 👑 |@GuillemBalague reckons the King is returning to Real Madrid...— Eleven Sports (@ElevenSports_UK) March 11, 2019
Zinedine Zidane is Bernabeu-bound and set to be given a blank cheque book 💰
Who'll be top of the shopping list? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/qK8GTA4pD0
“Zinedine Zidane will be in charge of Real Madrid from today and will probably take the team training on Tuesday,” Balague told BBC Sport.
“There will be a board meeting today and that will confirm the sacking of Solari and also the appointment of Zidane.
“Of course that may mean difficulties for Gareth Bale, who did not get on very well with Zidane.
“Sergio Ramos will have his authority reinforced and Zidane also wants the likes of Eden Hazard and perhaps even Christian Eriksen to add to the side.”
As such, punters are already turning to transfer betting markets for value ahead of what could be a frenzied summer window for the club, who find themselves find themselves 12 points behind Barcelona in La Liga and out of the Champions League in what has been a difficult transitional period since Zidane’s resignation last year.
Gareth Bale is expected to be moved on this summer and is 11/4 with Betfair to be a Manchester United player next season.
Zidane is a known admirer of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and the Belgium international is now odds-on (4/6) with BetVictor to move to Spain this summer.