ZINEDINE ZIDANE quit Real Madrid following a row over Eden Hazard and David De Gea.
The night before Zidane announced his resignation at a press conference, sources say he and Real president Florentino Perez clashed over summer transfer plans.
The Frenchman told Perez he wanted to sign Hazard from Chelsea but the president said no.
And when Perez told Zidane he wished to bring in long-term target De Gea from Manchester United, the manager insisted he had faith in current goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The debate went back and forth and ended, it is claimed, with Zidane telling Perez: “I am done. You take care of the team.”
Claims that Perez does not want Hazard may be reassuring to Chelsea as they try to hang on to their best player.
But United may have to brace themselves for another summer of speculation about De Gea’s future.
Perez is famously hands-on when it comes to signing players at Real, instigating the first Galactico era of Zidane himself, Luis Figo, Ronaldo and David Beckham during his initial term as Real president.
In his second period in charge, he has overseen a second more successful Galactico policy. Bringing in Kaka did not pay dividends, but Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale have helped Real win four of the last five Champions League titles.
Zidane may have thought that his achievement of winning three in a row entitled him to a bigger say in transfer business.
And he may also have been considering resignation anyway because the only way was down.
But it appears that Perez’s determination to go his own way on transfers was the tipping point.
Ironically, Zidane was linked with the vacant manager’s job at Chelsea where he might have got his wish to coach Hazard.
But fellow Frenchman Laurent Blanc is now the favourite to succeed Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.