MADRID - Zinedine Zidane and Jorge Valdano were given positions at Real Madrid as new president Florentino Perez took over the reins at the Primera Liga club on Monday. Former player and France international Zidane will be advisor to the president. Zidane was signed as a player in 2001 by Perez during his previous presidency. The Argentine Valdano, who was sports director previously under Perez, returns as director general and assistant to the president, a statement said on the club website. Miguel Pardeza takes over from Predrag Mijatovic as sports director. Spanish media reported Villarreal's Manuel Pellegrini was in line to take over as coach after the two clubs agreed a compensation deal. "As is logical between two clubs that get on well, an agreement has been closed," Villarreal chief executive Jose Manuel Llaneza was widely quoted as saying. "Now we will start work on looking for a replacement." Villarreal were not immediately available to comment on the reports. Chilean Pellegrini could become the first sporting appointment of Perez's second spell as president, replacing Juande Ramos. Perez was officially presented as the club's president at a ceremony in the Bernabeu. He made no mention of Pellegrini or any possible signings.
1 June 2009
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