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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Real Madrid sack Rafa Benitez with Zinedine Zidane to take over - reports

Real Madrid have sacked Rafa Benitez after holding a meeting over his future, according to multiple reports in Spain.

News services Cuatro and Onda Cero said that members of the club hierarchy were due to hold an emergency meeting to determine whether to sack Benitez on Monday, and both Marca and AS have reported that he has now been dismissed.

The two newspapers said Zinedine Zidane, currently in charge of the club's Castilla reserve side, is due to take over.

Former Valencia, Liverpool and Napoli boss Benitez has endured a difficult return to the Bernabeu, where he began his playing career with the reserve teams and later held several coaching roles.

He was named Carlo Ancelotti's replacement in June but there was speculation from the outset that several senior players did not welcome the appointment.

He came under more serious pressure with the 4-0 home defeat to Barcelona in the Clasico on Nov. 21, while the club's expulsion from the Copa del Rey after fielding an ineligible player has done little to calm tensions.

Madrid are currently third in La Liga, four points behind neighbours Atletico, after Sunday's 2-2 draw at Valencia.

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