Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho says former midfield star Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as the club's sporting director as he instead looks to obtain coaching qualifications in France.
"Zidane stepped down from his commitments with the first team two months ago," said Mourinho.
"He told us he was looking for the place where he would be happiest in his work and that he wanted to become a coach. He is on the way to getting his badges in France," explained Mourinho, who had earlier stressed he had not fallen out with Zidane, who led France to FIFA World Cup glory over Brazil 14 years ago.
Last November, the former star began a course in sports management in the French city of Limoges but had also remained on the Real payroll as the club agreed he would give individual tuition to young players in the reserve set-up.
Real Sociedad coach Philippe Montanier is to leave the Primera Division side at the end of the season after turning down a contract extension, the Basque club has confirmed.