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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 June, 2003, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Real ditch Del Bosque
Real Madrid coach Vicente Del Bosque
Del Bosque has been a loyal servant to Real
Real Madrid have decided not to renew the contract of coach Vicente Del Bosque.

The decision came a day after Real won their 29th league title and less than a week since England captain David Beckham was signed.

"It is necessary to make changes from time to time, even in times of success," said Real's sporting director Jorge Valdano on Monday

Club spokesman Enrique Sanchez revealed that Real had offered 52-year-old Del Bosque a post as technical director and added the club had several top coaches in mind to replace him.

According to Spain's Radio Marca, Manchester United assistant coach Carlos Quieroz and Porto boss Jose Mourinho are the two leading candidates to take the helm at the Bernabeu.

"Del Bosque's profile is a traditional one," Real president Florentino Perez told a news conference. "We're looking for someone with more emphasis on tactics, strategy and physical preparation.

"We believe that the squad we are building would be more powerful with a coach with a different character.

"Del Bosque was showing signs of exhaustion. I want to be sincere about this -- our belief that he was not the right coach for the future."

Valdano has refused to talk about a replacement for the coach, although speculation has also linked Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson with the post.

It hasn't been an easy day, we have lost two standard bearers for the club
Real sporting director
Jorge Valdano

Club captain Fernando Hierro, whose contract expires at the end of June, will also leave Real Madrid after 14 seasons.

It was widely expected that the Spanish international would be offered a one-year extension to his contract but Valdano said it was time to shake-up the team.

"Hierro is nearing the top age limit and we believe it's the right moment to break our relationship," said Valdano.

"It hasn't been an easy day. Two people who have been standard bearers for the club have gone."

Hierro, 35, started his career at Valladolid before joining Real in 1989, where he won five La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns.

Del Bosque took charge after the sacking of John Toshack in November 1999.

In his four seasons in charge he has steered the club to two European Cups, two domestic league titles, a European Super Cup and a World Club Cup.

Speaking earlier on Monday on Spanish TV Del Bosque said he thought the team would not renew his contract.

"I've been with the team for many years, in different positions, and I've been happy here," he said.

"Whether I stay or not is an important decision, and the team will choose the path it deems best."

BBC Sport's Ashish Sharma
"The club feel now is the time for a change"

Real consider Queiroz
24 Jun 03  |  Football

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