MADRID: Real Madrid have persuaded Zinedine Zidane to return as coach only 10 months after he resigned.

The Frenchman stepped down after leading the world club title-holders to third successive Champions League title.

He was replaced by Spain boss Julen Lopetegui and then former midfielder Santiago Solari but in the past two weeks Madrid have been knocked out of the Champions League by Ajax and out of the Spanish cup by Barcelona. Despite being third in LaLiga they are 12 points adrift of the Catalan leaders.

Zidane is no interim replacement. The former World Cup and European Championship-winning playmaker has signed a contract until 2022.

A club statement said: “The board of directors of Real Madrid, meeting today, Monday, March 11, 2019, has decided to terminate the contract that linked Santiago Solari with the club as coach of the first team and, at the same time, Real Madrid has offered to continue belonging to the club.

“Real Madrid appreciates the work done by Santiago Solari and the commitment and loyalty he has always shown to this house.

“The board has also agreed the appointment of Zinedine Zidane as the new coach of Real Madrid with immediate incorporation for the remainder of the season and the next three, until June 30, 2022. ”