Former Real Madrid and Spain defender Ivan Campo says Julen Lopetegui should not be sacked despite the European champions' 5-1 defeat at Camp Nou by Barcelona on Sunday.
Goal understands Lopetegui is set to lose his job on Monday following Real’s fourth league defeat in five games, with the side languishing in ninth place in La Liga and seven points adrift of the top.
Some reports had suggested that the former Spain boss would be removed following last Saturday’s defeat at home to Levante, but a 2-1 win against Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on Wednesday gave a stay of execution.
And club legend Campo thinks the club should stick by the man they appointed in June to replace three-time European cup winner Zinedine Zidane.
"It is not the fault of the manager because they are the players who play the game, not the manager,” Campo told Goal.
“He shouldn't be sacked, he should remain until the end of the season."
Real failed to score in over four games between September 26 and October 20, going 465 minutes without a goal.
Sunday’s thrashing represents the club’s worst defeat to Barca since Jose Mourinho’s side lost 5-0 in November 2010, and Real have now lost more times in La Liga this season than they did in the entirety of their last title-winning triumph in 2017.
Speaking after the game, defender Casemiro said that Real’s performance at Camp Nou had been “disastrous”.
"We didn't give the best image of ourselves,” he said. “It's happened too often this season. We didn't play well enough. We can't blame the manager. The players are fighting for everything on the pitch, but the result is different.
"The players on the pitch have the responsibility to run harder, fight harder. You have to give the maximum at this club. We are not having a very good season.”
Former Chelsea boss Antoinio Conte is expected to be brought in to revive Real’s title challenge once Real terminate Lopetegui’s brief reign.