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Zidane set to replace Benitez at Real Madrid, Hazard future uncertain

FOOTBALL By Mirror | December 17th 2015

Unhappy Chelsea star Eden Hazard's "idol" Zinedine Zidane is set to replace Rafa Benitez as Real Madrid coach.

And the Frenchman’s promotion will increase the chances of Hazard moving to the Spanish giants next summer.

Former Liverpool and Chelsea manager Benitez is clinging to his job after losing matches to Barcelona and Villarreal in recent weeks to slip to third place in La Liga.

It is claimed president Florentino Perez has lost faith in Benitez just months after appointing him and former Real Galactico Zidane , who is currently head coach of the Bernabeu club's B team, is being lined up to replace him .

Forward Hazard told Mirror Sport last season that he switched to wear the No 10 shirt at Stamford Bridge to imitate the France World Cup winner.

“I wanted it because my idol was a No 10 – Zidane – when he was in the French league,” he said. “Am I better than him? No. Maybe one day.”

Hazard has been repeatedly linked with a switch to Los Blancos during this troubled season – and Zidane’s anticipated appointment will only add to the appeal of moving to La Liga.

The Belgian only signed a new five-and-a-half year contract in February as his stunning form won him last season’s Player of the Year awards from both his fellow pros and the football writers , and helped Chelsea to the Premier League title.

But his form has since dipped dramatically in the new campaign, and his bizarre substitution in the defeat at Leicester on Monday brought further focus on his attitude this term.

Hazard has not scored for Chelsea since May 3 – 228 days ago.

He has now played 27 matches – and a total of 2,166 minutes – without finding the net for his club while netting four in four for Belgium this season.

Benitez has suffered a strained relationship with the Real players, including star man Cristiano Ronaldo.

But Zidane, who was assistant coach under Benitez's predecessor Carlo Ancelotti in 2013-14, would enjoy immediate respect from the players.

Ancelotti said: “When Zizou speaks in the dressing room, everyone listens to him.”

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