Atletico Madrid to sack coach Gregorio Manzano after Copa del Rey clash - report

The former Mallorca and Sevilla boss has been under intense pressure of late and Sunday's dismal home defeat to Real Betis has apparently sealed his fate
Atletico Madrid will reportedly fire coach Gregorio Manzano after Wednesday night’s Copa del Rey encounter with Albacete.

The 55-year-old Spaniard only arrived at the Vicente Calderon in the summer and has guided the Rojiblancos into the knockout stages of the Europa League.

However, Sunday’s tame 2-0 defeat at home to Real Betis has left Atletico 10th in the Primera Division standings, a staggering 21 points behind leaders and city rivals Real Madrid.

Marca claims the club’s board has now decided to fire Manzano - but not until after the meeting with Albacete, Atletico’s final game before the winter break.

The report also suggests that Rafael Benitez is Atletico's preferred candidate to succeed Manzano as coach.

However, as the former Liverpool boss rejected the role during the summer and is reportedly keen to resume his coaching career in the Premier League, Atletico are also said to be interested in the services of Diego Simeone, Raddy Antic and Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Manzano had a previous stint with Atletico between 2003 and 2004 before returning to the Vicente Calderon this season on the back of successful spells with Mallorca and Sevilla.