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Five things Real Madrid could announce at tonight's surprise press conference

Press conference called for 6:30pm

Five things Real Madrid could announce at tonight's surprise press conference

These are tough times at Real Madrid.

After losing out in La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey last season, they're struggling again this year, with a humiliating 4-0 surrender in El Clasico against bitter rivals Barcelona on Sunday.

Now, a press conference has been called for 7:30pm CET (6:30pm UK time), to be hosted by Real Madrid C F president, Florentino Pérez.

What could be about to happen? We take a look at the options. (Post-press conference EDIT: Looks like number five was the winner...)

Time up for Rafa already?

The overwhelmingly likely announcement is that manager Rafael Benitez will be getting the chop. Real change managers all the time, seemingly out of nothing more than boredom and, following that defeat, the fact they trail Barcelona by six points and amid reports that Ronaldo has issued an ultimatum that either he goes or Rafa does, he could be on his way.

However, Real rarely change managers mid-season and, as @totalLFC put it, "Rafa Benitez P16 W10 D4 L2 F33 A11. If that record is sackable then you deserve Tim Sherwood." However, considering they fired Carlo Ancelotti just a year after he won them their long-awaited tenth European Cup, we shouldn't be surprised if the itchy trigger finger strikes again. Zinedine Zidane, currently coach of Real's reserve team Castilla, appears to have ruled himself out and there is reportedly still support for Benitez at the club.

Ronaldo is leaving

There are almost constant rumours about Real's future transfer dealings - but it's usually about which new Galatico they're currently targetting. However, there have been more mutterings than usual about whether Cristiano Ronaldo - the perpetual second-best player in the world - is finally upping sticks. If the club decide to stick with Rafa, he could be on his way at the end of the season, so perhaps this is the announcement to expect.

There appear two likely destinations - his agent has reported been speaking to mega-rich Paris St Germain, while Louis van Gaal suggested at the weekend that a deal might happen, saying: “We are looking at all players, not just Ronaldo. But these players are mostly ungettable. With Ronaldo, let’s wait and hope.”

Gareth Bale will be off

While Ronaldo has always seemed relatively settled at Madrid - both in terms of him wanting to stay and the club wanting to keep him - there have been constant rumours swirling around about whether Gareth Bale will stick it out at Real, ever since his world record £85m move in 2013. His inability to master Spanish has made his relationship with the fans difficult and despite, scoring the winner in the 2014 Champions League final, a wondergoal in the 2014 Copa Del Rey final and an excellent record of 30 goals in 65 appearances, he could be deemed surplus to requirements.

He, though, doesn't seem to want to go, saying, "My plan when I first started playing was to try to reach the pinnacle - and Real is the pinnacle. I am enjoying my time here. Now I'm here, I want to win trophies and to win titles, and just do the best I can for my career."

However, he added, "I will never say never when it comes to going back to the Premier League, because you don't know what the future holds."

Florentino Pérez will announce his resignation

Pérez has been President of Real since 2009, this being his second term in charge of the club. In five full seasons, despite breaking the world transfer record twice, they've only won La Liga once and brought home a solitary Champions League. Now, after a 4-0 home defeat to Barca, fans may be wondering if the club have really progressed at all. Will he sensationally announce that he's off? We'd be surprised, but you never know.

Absolutely nothing

"Don't worry guys, just a quick message to say we've got this in hand. Cristiano and Gareth are going nowhere, Rafa's the man and six points is nothing to claw back - it's not even Christmas yet. We're top of our Champions League group right? Chill out and judge us at the end of the season."