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Sunday 31 August 2014

Real Madrid legend Hierro returns to his former club

Published 11/07/2014 | 02:30

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European champions Real Madrid, have confirmed the appointment of the club's former star, Fernando Hierro, as assistant coach. Photo credit: Raphael Dias/Getty Images for Adidas
European champions Real Madrid, have confirmed the appointment of the club's former star, Fernando Hierro, as assistant coach. Photo credit: Raphael Dias/Getty Images for Adidas

Fernando Hierro is to return to Real Madrid as assistant coach next season, the Spanish club announced last night.

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In a statement on their official website, the European champions confirmed that former defender Hierro, who made 601 appearances for the club in a glittering 14-year career at the Bernabeu, is to replace Zinedine Zidane as Carlo Ancelotti's number two.

Hierro won five La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues and one Copa del Rey with Madrid but left the club on less than amicable terms, following coach Vicente Del Bosque out of the door in 2003, the day after winning the league title.

Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has also revealed he is on the verge of a move to Juventus.

The forward is set to undergo a medical with the Serie A champions in the next couple of days before signing a four-year contract, with the switch believed to be worth around €22m. "I can't wait to get to Turin. Everyone has told me it's a great city and I am looking forward to getting to know it," Morata told Marca.

As with Dani Carvajal, who Madrid sold to Bayer Leverkusen in 2012 before re-purchasing him a year later, a buy-back clause has been inserted into the contract, giving the Spanish side the option to take the forward back to Madrid at the end of next season for €30m. Morata, the top scorer at the European U-21 Championships in 2013, broke into the Madrid first team in Jose Mourinho's final year in charge, but failed to cement his place under Ancelotti, playing a total of just 558 minutes in La Liga last season.

Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic, meanwhile, has joined Atletico Madrid from Bayern Munich.

The German champions confirmed that 28-year-old Mandzukic signed with Atletico after undergoing a medical.

Bayern vice chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen said: "We thank Mario Mandzukic for two great years here in Munich. In this time we won seven titles and his goals were often decisive for them. We wish him all the best."

Mandzukic scored 33 goals and set up eight more in 54 Bundesliga games for Bayern, but he had a fraught relationship with coach Pep Guardiola over the past season.

Irish Independent

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