Champions League, Real Madrid

Real Madrid Chief Insists Lopetegui Safe Until Sunday

Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno suggested Julen Lopetegui would not be fired before Sunday’s Clasico after watching Real Madrid hang on to a 2-1 victory against Viktoria Plzen.

Asked directly:

‘Will Lopetegui be sat on the bench at the Camp Nou?’ Butragueno answered: ‘Yes, yes, everything is totally normal. We have to stay calm and united.’

Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro had earlier answered a similar question by saying the manager was taking things ‘day by day’.

And when the man himself was questioned about his future he said:

‘That question is not for me.

‘Tomorrow I am going to prepare for what is a very important game on Sunday.’

Asked if full-back Marcelo would be fit to play at the weekend after coming off with an ankle injury, Lopetegui said:

‘He has a bad knock and we need to wait and see but I am optimistic.’

Madrid ended a run of three straight defeats and five games without a win by beating the Czech Republic side.

Lopetegui added:

‘We created a lot of chances to shut the game down but we could not take them and then the nerves started.’

For the Real Madrid board, who have already decided to fire Lopetegui, the only decisions left to be made are when and who will replace him.

A win in the Clasico will give the under-fire Madrid manager a reprieve, but only until the next crisis comes around. He will be sacked. It’s just a question on when.

And when he is sacked, Lopetequi will receive €18m from Madrid. As reported by Sport, Lopetegui is on a contract worth €6million that runs until the summer of 2021. The club have guaranteed that the Spaniard will receive €18million of that amount in any circumstances