Ancelotti first took charge at Madrid in 2013 and led the club to a famous tenth Champions League glory in his first season. He was sacked in 2015 after a second-place finish to Barcelona in La Liga and club president Florentino Perez said the 61-year-old would always have a place in the hearts of both the board and supporters.
Madrid hoped Zidane would remain at the club, but the manager said the club no longer had faith in him and chose to stand down. Madrid’s first-choice replacement, Massimiliano Allegri, instead opted to return to Juventus, while Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino were both also considered targets.
However, Madrid have instead opted for Ancelotti, despite a somewhat disappointing Premier League campaign for Everton, with a promising start petering out into a tenth-place finish. He has been handed a three-year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he is expected to be presented to the local media on Wednesday.
In leaving the Goodison Park club, Ancelotti thanked the players and fans and noted he could not reject the chance to return to Madrid. A short message from him on the club website read:
“I have complete respect for everyone associated with Everton and hope they can achieve the exciting opportunities they have in front of them.
“While I have enjoyed being at Everton I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time.”
The Toffees say the search for a new boss starts immediately, with The Independent’s Miguel Delaney reporting that Eddie Howe, Nuno Espirito Santo and Graham Potter were among those initially being considered.