In Brief

Real Madrid to appoint Santiago Solari as head coach

The Argentine will reportedly stay on until the end of the season

After four wins from his four games in temporary charge, Santiago Solari is set to be appointed as Real Madrid’s head coach until at least the end of the season.

Solari took over from Julen Lopetegui after Real’s 5-1 El Clasico defeat against Barcelona last month. He has led the team to victories against Melilla, Valladolid, Viktoria Plzen and Celta Vigo.

Sky Sports reports that under La Liga rules “a caretaker manager can only be in charge for 15 days”. Solari’s spell as temporary coach ends tomorrow and Real have been “forced into a decision”.

The Spanish FA (RFEF) has told ESPN that Real have filed the required papers to appoint Solari as permanent first-team coach and the Spanish newspaper Marca has confirmed the news today. RFEF told the news agency AFP: “Everything is in order. Real Madrid have worked out his contract and there are no problems.”

In the four wins, Real have scored 15 goals and conceded only two – marking the best start of a head coach at the Bernabeu in 116 years. Marca writer Miguel Angel Lara said: “Solari has quelled any doubts and managed to wriggle himself free of the ‘interim’ label.”

Solari, who is 42, was previously head coach of Real’s “Castilla” B team. It’s understood, Sky reports, that during his short time as first-team boss the “Real hierarchy have been impressed with the job he has done”.

Real Madrid director and club legend Emilio Butragueno said: “The truth is that we are very happy with him. There is no doubt that he came at a very particular moment and has been able to achieve very good results.”

Real are sixth in La Liga with 20 points from 12 matches – four behind leaders Barcelona. The Champions League holders are also top of group G. 

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