Real Madrid appoint Santiago Solari on surprise permanent deal until 2021

The 42-year-old stepped in as interim boss following the sacking of Julen Lopetegui after the club's humiliating 5-1 defeat to arch rivals Barcelona.

Madrid were unsuccessful in their attempts to replace Lopetegui with Antonio Conte and Mauricio Pochettino.

With La Liga's strict two-week deadline to appoint a new boss on a permanent deal, it was expected that Solari would be handed a contract until the end of the season.

But following the club's upturn in form, Real chiefs have handed him a lengthy lucrative contract.

The Argentine has won four out-of four games in charge – including Sunday night's 4-2 win against Celta Vigo.

A club statement read: "The Board of Directors of Real Madrid CF, meeting today November 13, 2018, has agreed to the appointment of Santiago Solari as coach of the first team until June 30, 2021."

Even the Real Madrid players themselves believed he wouldn't stay beyond the end of the current season.

Defender Nacho said: "We’re working as if Solari were to stay with us for the entire season.”

And striker Karim Benzema added: “Why would he not continue until the end of the season?”

In his four games in charge, Real Madrid have scored 15 goals and conceded just twice.

It also rules out any chance of Arsene Wenger managing at the Bernabeu after the Frenchman admitted he's plotting a comeback to football in January.

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