Santiago Solari is keen on taking a job in the Premier League, having been sacked by Real Madrid earlier this year.

Solari's short spell in charge of the LaLiga giants came to an end in March 2019, with Zinedine Zidane returning to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The former midfielder initially thrived as Julen Lopetegui's temporary replacement but was dismissed soon after Madrid's three-year reign as European champions was brought to an end in stunning style by Ajax.

Solari has not been employed as a coach since leaving Madrid but the 42-year-old is ready to return to the dugout, with the Premier League holding a particular appeal.

"I would like to coach in Europe, in a serious project in one of the big leagues," he told BBC Sport.

"I saw the Premier League last year and how it grew so much. It was a fantastic campaign for the English teams. There are so many different cultures as well - you have Spanish coaches, German coaches, English coaches, coaches from all over the world who have made it grow.

"The type of football I like is when the team is the protagonist, offensive football, high tempo and aggressive but in order to achieve that you have to defend high, have fast transitions, and of course talent is a big part of that.

"The statistics in the Premier League are amazing and confirm things are changing. Fifteen years ago there were just three games where one team averaged 70 per cent of possession.

"Three years ago that went up to 30 games. Two years ago it was 60 games and last year there were 67 games in which one team had 70 per cent of possession."

Madrid sacked Solari with the club having little chance of deposing Barcelona as LaLiga champions, but they have stumbled since Zidane's return.

Wednesday's 2-0 home win over Osasuna sent Madrid top of the table despite questions being asked of Zidane, whose side head to city rivals Atletico Madrid next.

Asked if he felt he was treated harshly, Solari replied: "That is a private matter. That's football.

"It was an honour to serve Real Madrid."

Zinedine Zidane is already under pressure at Real Madrid and his latest move displeased the LaLiga giants' board.

Madrid have made a slow start to the season, winning two of four LaLiga games and suffering a humbling defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

A decision Zidane made after that loss has reportedly upset the leaders at Madrid.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE ANGERS REAL MADRID BOARD WITH DECISION

Zidane's decision to give his players a day off on Thursday in the wake of their PSG defeat angered Real Madrid's board, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The latest report just adds to what has been a tough return to the Santiago Bernabeu for Zidane, back at the helm for a second stint.

With plenty of talk around his future, Sport reports it would cost Madrid €80million to sack Zidane, who signed a three-year deal in March.

 

ROUND-UP

- The man Zidane replaced, Santiago Solari, is close to landing a new job. Solari is the favourite to be the first coach of MLS side Inter Miami, according to beIN SPORTS.

- Juventus knew what they needed in the close season. Calciomercato says the Serie A champions prioritised the signing of Matthijs de Ligt for a reported €75m from Ajax over trying to land Joao Felix, who ended up at Atletico Madrid from Benfica.

- Nemanja Matic appears on the way out at Manchester United and Inter have been offered the midfielder, according to Calciomercato. However, the report says Matic is not a priority for Antonio Conte.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United are holding contract talks with 19-year-old midfielder Angel Gomes, according to the Manchester Evening News. Gomes is in the final year of his current deal and Barcelona are reportedly interested.

- Premier League clubs are on alert with Barcelona wanting to raise funds by selling midfielder Ivan Rakitic and defender Samuel Umtiti, according to the Daily Mail. The LaLiga giants are reportedly looking to raise at least €124m this season.

- AC Milan have held talks about possibly signing 20-year-old San Lorenzo forward Adolfo Gaich, according to Calciomercato. The Serie A side opted not to pursue a deal for the one-time Argentina international in the close season.

Santiago Solari has been sacked as Real Madrid head coach after just four months in charge, with Zinedine Zidane returning to the club on a three-year deal.

Madrid have opted to end Solari's tenure despite Sunday's 4-1 win over relegation-threatened Real Valladolid, which came at the end of a tumultuous period for Los Blancos.

Back-to-back Clasico defeats to fierce rivals Barcelona signalled the end of their Copa del Rey and LaLiga hopes this season, while a shocking 4-1 home collapse to Ajax saw their Champions League reign come to an unceremonious end.

Solari took over as caretaker after Julen Lopetegui's sacking in late October, initially overseeing an upturn in Madrid's fortunes and earning a contract until mid-2021.

However, the Spanish giants again started to struggle last month and have lost four straight home games for just the third time in their history.

That loss of form has prompted them to turn back to Zidane, who left after last season's third successive Champions League triumph.

The Frenchman has penned a deal until June 2022, ending speculation of a possible return for Jose Mourinho or an approach for Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Real Madrid's dismal run of form continued as Ajax won 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu to dump the Champions League holders out of the competition for the first time since 2014-15.

After winning Europe's elite club tournament in three consecutive years under Zinedine Zidane, a tough first campaign since the French icon's departure was capped in remarkable fashion on Tuesday in a 5-3 aggregate loss.

Madrid fell apart in the first half and saw their 2-1 first-leg lead overturned in the opening 20 minutes by goals from Hakim Ziyech and David Neres as Ajax ran riot.

The irrepressible Dusan Tadic added another with a controversial second-half strike, leaving Madrid requiring three goals to stay in the competition, and although Marco Asensio got one back, a fourth home defeat in a row never looked in doubt as Lasse Schone made it four.

With two of those reverses coming at the hands of bitter rivals Barcelona last week before this humbling, pressure will undoubtedly build on head coach Santiago Solari's position.

The unmarked Raphael Varane headed against the crossbar inside five minutes, but Ajax settled into the contest thereafter and two superb pieces of creative play from Dusan Tadic swiftly wiped out Madrid's away goals.

Tadic first darted in behind Nacho Fernandez to square for Ziyech to sidefoot into the bottom left corner and then the Serbia international left Casemiro in a spin and played in Neres for a calm finish.

Ajax passed up further chances before a horrible half for the hosts was compounded by injuries to Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius Junior in quick succession.

Substitute Gareth Bale, jeered off the pitch against Barca, was again whistled by his own supporters and almost gifted Ziyech a third goal before striking the post at the other end.

Madrid scarcely improved after the restart and Tadic was rightly the man to put the tie beyond them, slamming into the top-left corner before a lengthy delay as VAR finally advised the referee that the ball had not gone out of play earlier in the move.

A belated response saw Asensio slide a finish beyond Andre Onana, but there was no let up in Ajax's attacking ambition and a glorious Schone free-kick caught out the scrambling Courtois, before a frustrated Nacho was sent off in stoppage time.

 

What does it mean? Season ended in a week

In the space of seven days, Madrid played three home games, lost three home games and exited two competitions, also slipping 12 points behind in LaLiga. That two of the defeats were to Barcelona and the other saw their incredible European run ended makes matters more painful still. Solari's hopes of remaining in this job beyond the end of the season are surely over.

Tadic tortures Madrid

There were stars everywhere in this Ajax team, with Frenkie de Jong controlling the midfield and Neres tying Dani Carvajal in knots. But Tadic was undoubtedly the star of the show. He looked a threat every time he got on the ball and the piece of skill that sold Casemiro and led to the second goal was simply breathtaking - as was his finish for the third.

Suffering without Sergio

If it was difficult to pinpoint the outstanding performer in the visiting ranks, it was tougher still to find Madrid's chief culprit. It might be that the man who did the most damage to their cause was not even involved on Tuesday. Regardless of protestations that a first-leg yellow card was unintentional, Sergio Ramos' suspension left Madrid with a hapless back line.

What's next?

Madrid will be relieved to get away from the Bernabeu when they go to Real Valladolid on Sunday. Ajax host Fortuna Sittard next but could be forgiven for having more than one eye on the Champions League quarter-final draw.

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