AAP Soccer

Solari is Real Madrid’s permanent manager

By AAP Newswire

Santiago Solari's appointment as Real Madrid's permanent manager has been approved by the Spanish soccer federation, a spokesman says.

The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since replacing Julen Lopetegui at the helm of the European champions two weeks ago.

Though the club have yet to confirm the news, Spanish rules prevent an interim coach from staying in charge for longer than 15 days, a period that expires on Monday.

With victories over Melilla in the Copa del Rey, Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, and Real Valladolid and Celta Vigo in La Liga, Solari has enjoyed the best start of any manager in the club's history.

Lopetegui was sacked after a run of form that saw Madrid sink to ninth on the table. However, after Sunday's 4-2 win at Celta, the capital club are sixth, four points behind leaders Barcelona.

"We are focusing on playing for our coach, we are prepared to die for him and we know that he is a great coach, we want him to continue," said defender Alvaro Odriozola on Sunday.

Solari, who played for Madrid between 2000 and 2005 in the Galacticos era alongside former coach Zinedine Zidane, led Real Madrid's reserve team from 2016 until replacing Lopetegui last month after a painful 5-1 El Clasico defeat by Barcelona.

Meanwhile Real Madrid defender Nacho Fernandez will miss two months and midfielder Casemiro around three weeks, according to reports in Spain, as the club's injury crisis deepens.

Both players were substituted after sustaining problems during the win at Celta on Sunday.

The club said in a statement on Monday that Nacho had suffered a dislocation in his right knee and Casemiro had sprained his ankle.

The European champions are already missing defenders Marcelo, Raphael Varane and Dani Carvajal through injury, as well as striker Mariano Diaz.